Why Have the National Courts of Some Member States Found It Difficult to Accept the European Court’s Doctrine of the Supremacy of Community Law?

1530 Words Apr 21st, 2015 7 Pages
Why have the national courts of some Member States found it difficult to accept the European Court’s doctrine of the supremacy of Community law?

The idea of community law is that it is supreme. However, especially in the earlier days, some national courts of Member States found it difficult to accept this. The reasons for this varied for different Member States such as having unwritten constitutions, a lack of a good administrative system, the ideas of parliamentary sovereignty and the notion that courts did not want to go against their national constitution. It is said that the courts would take a teleological approach rather than textual approach in dealing with this matter. I think that the way the court developed the doctrine of
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The reason for this is that if Community law goes against something that is set out in that Member States constitution, they will have more power to contest it than a smaller Member State will have.

The problem the UK had in accepting Community law was partly because they were a dualist state and partly because courts were trying to preserve the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty Also, the UK had an unwritten constitution. Being a dualist State means that they treat national law separately from international law. For national law to become part of national law the UK Parliament must enact domestic legislation to give effect to national law e.g. the Human Rights Act 1988 or the European Communities Act 1972. This also demonstrates the idea of preserving parliamentary sovereignty because if international law cannot have any effect unless Parliament enacts legislation to say it does have effect then it suggest that national law has primacy. It demonstrates that the feeling of the UK is that they are the supreme law making body when it comes to making laws for their country and it ultimately chooses whether or not to follow any other legislative body.

In 1972, in the case of Blackburn v Attorney General (1971), lord Denning MR emphasised the fact that they did not see Community Law as being supreme as he states in his judgement: “ Even if a

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