Inaugural Lecture: Professor Niamh Nic Shuibhne

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


Inaugural Lecture: 'The Lawless Science of EU Law: Constitutional Responsibility and the Court of Justice'

When constitutional courts interpret the law, they make law. But they also influence the direction of policy-making and are frequently called upon to determine questions that seem to have very little to do with legal reasoning at all. This lecture will position the Court of Justice of the European Union as a transnational constitutional court and evaluate its performance using the conceptual benchmark of constitutional responsibility. It will be shown that the values of fairness, coherence and integrity are central to that assessment; and that the verdict is mixed. The absence of more prescriptive guidance or signposts in the EU’s primary legal documents - its Treaties - will be explored as a considerable challenge for the Court to manage. More pragmatically, it will be argued that the current structure of the Court hinders it from fulfilling the responsibilities it owes, especially to the national courts of the EU Member States. But the notion of responsibility also demands that the Court demonstrate greater awareness of its constitutional purpose and shape its own judicial behaviour accordingly.
Period9 Nov 2012
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United Kingdom