Thursday, October 17, 2019

Article 234 EC Treaty and the European Court of Justice Research Paper

Article 234 EC Treaty and the European Court of Justice - Research Paper Example The doctrines of direct effect and the supremacy of the EC law over the national law are the fundamental foundations of this structure. Under the doctrine of direct effect, individuals are bestowed with legal rights, which enable them to invoke the national courts directly to challenge the Member State’s failure to adopt the provisions of the EC law. Under the doctrine of supremacy, the EC law precedes national law in the event of any conflict between the National law and the EC law. Accordingly, by virtue of these two important doctrines, the European Court of Justice transformed the preliminary ruling system from a mechanism in which individuals can challenge the EC law in the national courts into a framework in which individuals can challenge the national law in national courts in order to make the EC law prevail upon the national law3. Initially, there was a significant amount of protest by the national courts. Subsequently, the national courts began to accept such challenges under direct effect and commenced to protect the Community rights of individuals. Moreover, whenever an interpretation was required in a particular case, the national courts referred these cases to the European Court of Justice for clarification4. There were a few such preliminary references in the 1960s. They increased to nearly fifty by mid-1970s, over one hundred in the early 1980s, and around two hundred by 1990s. This clearly established that the national courts had become the key elements of the European legal system. In this manner, they have become a part of the judicial relationship of the European Court of Justice.

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