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Laurent Pech, Dimitry Kochenov: Respect for the Rule of Law in the Case Law of the European Court of Justice: A Casebook Overview of Key Judgments since the Portuguese Judges Case

Our senior research fellows, Dimitry Kochenov and Laurent Pech unveil a profound change of the EU as a constitutional system in their case-book published by the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS).

Over the past years, respect for the rule of law has decreased in several EU Member States. This regression affects the whole of the Union, as the rule of law is a founding value of the EU as a political community and a cornerstone of the Union’s legal order. The EU institutions have therefore taken measures to counter this regression, both by developing new tools and by using ones they did not need in the past.

The authors analyze the specific response of the European Court of Justice to the process of rule of law backsliding. The report, which follows a casebook format, consists of an in-depth examination of orders and judgments that have had a key impact on the status of the rule of law in the Court’s case law. The period covered is from February 2018 to July 2021.

While the authors point out that the Court of Justice has been the most active EU institution concerning the defense of the rule of law, they also observe shortcomings in the Court’s assessments. These shortcomings affect, among others, those who invest in a Member State without a functioning rule of law, and those who are extradited to such a Member State under a European Arrest Warrant.

This is the first time that the case law of the Court of Justice on the rule of law has been analyzed in a comprehensive and systematic way, and the review is therefore the first of its kind.

Download the report here.

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