Enforcing EU Law Against States

Damages and legal action A member state is liable in damages to individuals who suffer loss as a consequence of its infringement of European Community laws.  It must pay compensation in accordance with its domestic system of civil liability. This principle follows from the supremacy of European law and the practical necessity to give it […]

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Principles of EU Law

General Principles of EU Law General principles of European law are unwritten rules used and applied in the interpretation of European Union law.  They involve principles of justice and principles designed to protect human rights.  They may fill gaps in law and make the law more coherent. General principles of community law derive from a […]

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EU Laws

Treaties The European Union treatises are the constitution of the European Union and set out its powers and functions.  They are the primary source of law.  The Union must only act in accordance with the competences and powers provided for under the European Union Treaties. They are more than an international agreement.  They create an […]

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Legal Action Against EU

Challenging Legality The EU treaty provides that the parties may claim in proceedings before the European courts that measures are invalid under the treaty for the reasons set out. The grounds for invalidity are as follows: lack of competence i.e. lack powers, infringement of essential procedural requirement, infringement of the treaty or rule of law, […]

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Effect of EU Law

Overview Community law becomes part of national law through a number of mechanisms. In some legal systems, international treaties can become part of domestic law through a process of ratification.  In other states, including Ireland international law does not become part of the domestic law until incorporated in by domestic legislation.  It binds the state […]

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Ensuring Harmonious Application

Preliminary Reference The Court of Justice has jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on points of European Union law.  This covers matters of interpretation of the Treaties, EU legislation and measures by its institutions. Where a question is raised before any court or tribunal in a member state, it may refer the question of European Union […]

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