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Judicial Activism at the European Court of Justice: A Natural Feature in a Dialogical Context

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This article analyses two aspects of judicial activism at the European Court of Justice. * First, four German landmark cases concerning European law demonstrate the dialogical relationship between the European Union and their member states with regard to judicial activism. Here, the question of whether the interaction between the ECJ and the German Constitutional Court (das Bundesverfassungsgericht) has consequences for the amount of judicial activism arises. Second, on the basis of rulings on discrimination law and the internal market law, it is substantiated that activism is not a negative, but a normal feature of the ECJ and that rather judicial restraint constitutes an interesting deviation. Consequently, we conclude that judicial activism at the ECJ is a natural feature in a dialogical context.

Affiliations: 1: attorney at Monard Law,; 2: Tilburg University,; 3: Institute of Social Law, KU Leuven,


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