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Countering Anti-Constitutional Argument: The Reasons for the European Court of Justice’s Decision in Kadi and Al Barakaat

  • Jo Eric Khushal Murkens


This chapter examines the recent decision by the European Court of Justice in Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation. It is a response to criticism that the ECJ’s judgment, in providing for the review of EC measures implementing UN Security Council resolutions, undermines the authority of public international law. Instead of committing itself to international law and institutions at all cost, the ECJ concerns itself with the constitutional repercussions from national constitutional courts (in the case of failure to protect fundamental rights). Important as the relationship between EC law and international law is, there is a clear sense that the ECJ is responsible to, and will ultimately be held to account by, the courts and constitutions of the Member States of the European Union.



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1 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 P Yassin Abdullah Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council of the European Union and Commission of the European Communities, judgment of 3 September 2008, nyr.

2 Walker, N, ‘Beyond Boundary Disputes and Basic Grids: Mapping the Global Disorder of Normative Orders’ (2008) 6 International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON) 373, 379–81; Bogdandy, A von, ‘Pluralism, Direct Effect, and the Ultimate Say: On the Relationship between International and Domestic Constitutional Law’ (2008) 3 & 4 ICON 397 . See generally Bethlehem, D, ‘International Law, European Community Law, National Law: Three Systems in Search of a Framework’ in Koskenniemi, M (ed), International Law Aspects of the European Union (The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1997).

3 Tridimas, T, ‘Terrorism and the ECJ: Empowerment and Democracy in the EC Legal Order’ (2009) 34 European Law Review 103 ; G de Búrca, ‘The European Court of Justice and the International Legal Order after Kadi’, Jean Monnet Working Paper 01/09; Kunoy, B and Dawes, A, ‘Plate Tectonics In Luxembourg: The Ménage À Trois Between EC Law, International Law and the European Convention On Human Rights Following the UN Sanctions Cases’ (2009) 46 Common Market Law Review 73 ; Cardwell, PJ, French, D and White, N, ‘European Court of Justice, Yassin Abdullah Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council and Commission (Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 P) Judgment of 3 September 2008’ (2009) 58(1) International Comparative Law Quarterly 229 ; Griller, S, ‘International Law, Human Rights and the Community’s Autonomous Legal Order: Notes on the European Court of Justice Decision in Kadi’ (2008) 4 European Constitutional Law Review (EuConst) 528 ; R Schütze,’On “Middle Ground”: The European Community and Public International Law (2007) EUI Working Paper No. 13; Tomuschat, C, ‘Case T-306/01, Ahmed Ali Yusuf and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council and Commission; Case T-315/01, Yassin Abdullah Kadi v Council and Commission’ (2006) 43 CML Rev 537 .

4 Halberstam, D and Stein, E, ‘The United Nations, the European Union, and the King of Sweden: Economic Sanctions and Individual Rights in a Plural World Order’ (2009) 46 CML Rev 13 ; Bianchi, A, ‘Assessing the Effectiveness of the UN Security Council’s Antiterrorism Measures: The Quest for Legitimacy and Cohesion’ (2006) 17 European Journal of International Law 903 ; Bianchi, A, ‘Security Council’s Anti-terror Resolutions and their Implementation by Member States: An Overview’ (2006) 4 Journal of International Criminal Justice 1059 .

5 Reinisch, A, ‘The Action of the European Union to Combat International Terrorism’ in Bianchi, A (ed.) Enforcing International Law Norms Against Terrorism (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2004); Hörmann, S,‘Völkerrecht bricht Rechtsgemeinschaft? Zu den rechtlichen Folgen einer Umsetzung von Resolutionen des UN Sicherheitsrates durch die EG’ (2006) 44 Archiv des Völkerrechts 267 .

6 Gutherie, P, ‘Security Council Sanctions and the Protection of Individual Rights’ (2004) 60 NYU Annual Survey of American Law 491 ; Nettesheim, M, ‘U.N. Sanctions Against Individuals: A Challenge to the Architecture of European Union Governance’ (2007) 44 CML Rev 567 ; Eckes, C, ‘Sanctions against Individuals: Fighting Terrorism within the European Legal Order’ (2008) 4 Eu Const 205 .

7 Gearty, C, ‘Situating International Human Rights Law in an Age of Counter-Terrorism’(2008) Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 167 ; Eeckhout, P, ‘Community Terrorism Listings Fundamental rights, and UN Security Council Resolutions’ (2007) 3 EuConst 183 ; Warbrick, C, ‘The European Response to Terrorism in an Age of Human Rights’ (2004) 15 EJIL 989 ; Fitzgerald, P, ‘Managing Smart Sanctions Against Terrorism Wisely’ (2002) 36 New England Law Review 957 .

8 Menz, S and Scholz, TB, ‘The Kadi-case or the Legal Protection of Persons Included in the European Union “Anti-Terror List”’ (2009) 17(1) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice 61 ; Bothe, M, ‘Security Council’s Targeted Sanctions against Presumed Terrorists’ (2008) 6 JICJ 541 ; ‘Assessing Damage, Urging Action’ Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Geneva 2009, ch 6.

9 Payandeh, M, ‘Rechtskontrolle des UN-Sicherheitsrates durch staatliche und überstaatliche Gerichte’ (2006) 66 Zeitschrift fur ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Volkerrecht 41 ; Lavranos, N, ‘UN Sanctions and Judicial Review’ (2007) 76 Nordic Journal of International Law 1 ; Benvenisti, E, ‘National Courts and the “War on Terrorism”’ in Bianchi, A (ed), Enforcing International Law Norms Against Terrorism (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2004).

10 See the ‘Ottawa Principles on Anti-terrorism and Human Rights’ available at:, visited 01 November 2008.

11 See The European Convention on Human Rights, Due Process and United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Sanctions Report prepared by Professor Iain Cameron for the Council of Europe (2006); Human Rights Watch, ‘UN: Sanctions Rules Must Protect Due Process’ 3 March 2003; see also Assessing Damage, Urging Action’ in Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Geneva 2009, especially 113–22.

12 Council of Europe, Guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures (sanctions) in the framework of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (December 2005) and Basic Principles on the Use of Restrictive Measures (Sanctions) (June 2004). This may appear ironic given the Council’s own behaviour concerning legal challenges to the EU’s own ‘domestic’ listing regime: see the discussion in Tridimas, and Gutierrez-Fons, , ‘EU Law, International Law and Economic Sanctions Against Terrorism: The Judiciary in Distress?’ (2009) 32 Fordham International Law Journal 660 and the case notes by Johnston, A (2007) Cambridge Law Journal 273, 523 and (2008) CLJ 38 .

13 Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution 1597 (2008) and Recommendation 1824 (2008) United Nations Security Council and European Union blacklists (both adopted 23 January 2008), based on the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Rapporteur: Mr Dick Marty, Doc 11454.

14 UNSC Res 1267 (1999), 1333 (2000) and 1390 (2002).

15 142 individuals associated with the Taliban, 253 individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, 112 entities and other groups and undertakings associated with Al-Qaeda: see ‘The Consolidated List established and maintained by the 1267 Committee with respect to Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden, and the Taliban and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them’.

16 UNSC Resolution 1452 (2002) allows for exceptions to the freezing of funds in relation to food, medical expenses and reasonable legal fees, which resulted in Common Position 2003/140/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) 561/2003 to reflect those humanitarian exceptions.

17 Case T-315/01 Yassin Abdullah Kadi v Council of the European Union [2005] ECR II-3649.

18 See, eg, Tridimas and Gutierrez-Fons, above n 12; Eeckhout, above n 7.

19 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 138, citing Case 4/73 Nold v Commission [1974] ECR 491, para 13.

20 Brown, RS, ‘Kadi v Council of the European Union and Commission of the European Communities: Executive Power and Judicial Supervision at European Level’ (2006) 4 European Human Rights Law Review 456, 463.

21 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 159.

22 Dicey, AV, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, 10th edn (London, Macmillan, 1959) 39–40 : ‘Parliament … has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament’.

23 Cheney v Conn [1968] 1 All ER 779 (Ch D) 782(Ungoed-Thomas J), affirming that the courts are not free to ignore an Act of Parliament when applying Community or international law.

24 Case 6/64 Flaminio Costa v ENEL [1964] ECR 585; Case 11/70 Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH v Einfuhrund Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel [1970] ECR 1125.

25 Ibid, para 177.

26 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 217.

27 Case C-402/05 P Kadi v Council and Commission, Opinion of Advocate General Miguel Poaires Maduro of 16 January 2008, available online at: (‘AG Maduro Opinion’), paras 33 and 34.

28 Ibid, para 50. This is typical of the kind of reasoning that prompted the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission, which is part of the Council of Europe) to remind States that ‘state security and fundamental rights are not competitive values; they are each other’s precondition’ (Concerning the Protection of Human Rights in Emergency Situations, Opinion no. 359 / 2005, 13 March 2006). Although the UK government formally agrees with this view (see Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights: Prosecution and Pre-Charge Detention, Cm 6920, September 2006, paragraph 6), it clearly does not require its lawyers to argue it in practice.

29 Ibid, para 162.

30 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 276.

31 UNSC Res 1373 (28 September 2001).

32 See UN Doc S/PV 4385. The debate consists of the chair’s introduction and the vote. The public record does not say who initiated the resolution, but it is assumed that it was the United States: see Scheppele, K Lane, ‘The Migration of Anti-Constitutional Ideas: the Post-9/11 Globalization of Public Law and the International State of Emergency’ in Choudhry, S (ed), The Migration of Constitutional Ideas (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006) 352 .

33 For criticism, see Szasz, P, ‘The Security Council Starts Legislating’ (2002) 96 American Journal of International Law 901 .

34 Benvenisti, E, ‘The Conception of International Law as a Legal System’ (2008) 50 German Yearbook of International Law 393 . See also Cole, D and Dempsey, JX, Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security, 2nd edn (Los Angeles, First Amendment Foundation, 2002); Ackerman, B, ‘The Emergency Constitution’ (2004) 113 Yale Law Journal 1029 .

35 See generally Farrall, JM, United Nations Sanctions and the Rule of Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007). See also ‘Assessing Damage, Urging Action’ in Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Geneva 2009, 167: ‘The UN Security Council, the Council of the European Union and other organisations using a listing system should urgently comply with basic standards of fairness and due process, including, as a minimum, allowing affected persons and organisations the right to know the grounds of listing and the right to challenge such listing in an adversarial hearing before a competent, independent and impartial body’.

36 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 150.

37 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation, above n 1, para 49.

38 The term is a modification of Koh, HH, ‘Transnational Public Law Litigation’ (1991) 100 Yale LJ 2347 .

39 Art 6(2) ECHR: ‘Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law’.

40 Art 6(3) ECHR: ‘Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: (a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him; (b) to have adequate time and the facilities for the preparation of his defence; (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require; (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him; (e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court’.

41 M v Italy (App no 12386/86) ECommHR, judgment of 15 April 1991: ‘[t]hat being the case, and in the light of the Court’s case-law, the Commission concludes that the confiscation complained of does not involve a finding of guilt subsequent to a criminal charge, and does not constitute a penalty’.

42 ‘In the determination of his civil rights and obligations … everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law’.

43 Art 1 Protocol 1 ECHR: ‘Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties’.

44 Raimondo v Italy Series A No 281 (1994) 18 EHRR 237; AGOSI v United Kingdom (App no 9118/80) (1987) 9 EHRR 1.

45 EC Council, Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on human rights and the fight against terrorism, 804th meeting, 11 July 2002.

46 Ibid, section IX: ‘A person accused of terrorist activities has the right to a fair hearing, within a reasonable time, by an independent, impartial tribunal established by law’.

47 Ibid, section XIV: ‘The use of the property of persons or organisations suspected of terrorist activities may be suspended or limited, notably by such measures as freezing orders or seizures, by the relevant authorities. The owners of the property have the possibility to challenge the lawfulness of such a decision before a court’.

48 See also ‘Assessing Damage, Urging Action’ in Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Geneva 2009, 92, 153–5.

49 Ibid, 91, citing oral testimony of Charles Clarke (former UK Home Secretary).

50 Previous legislation also empowered such measures: see the Terrorism Act 2000 ss 3 and 4, and sch 2 (as amended by the Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (SI 2001/1261), Art 2, at issue in Lord Alton of Liverpool and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 443.

51 See the Al-Qaida and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 (SI 2006/2952) and the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 (SI 2006/2657) (under which ‘reasonable grounds for suspecting’ is the touchstone) and English cases such as A, K, M, Q, G v HM Treasury [2008] EWCA Civ 1187.

52 ‘It must be stressed that Member States are under an obligation to freeze assets as soon as an individual or entity is added to the list and that no discretion is left with, eg, national courts in this regard. The Committee also notes that criminal conviction or indictment is not a prerequisite for inclusion on the consolidated list, and Member States need not wait until national administrative, civil or criminal proceedings can be brought or concluded against an individual or entity before proposing a name for the consolidated list’: see Letter dated 1 December 2005 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN Doc S/2005/761, 6 December 2005, 3.

53 See, generally, Cameron, I, ‘UN Targeted Sanctions, Legal Safeguards and the European Convention of Human Rights’ (2003) 72 Nordic Journal of International Law 159, 165; Hoffmann, J, ‘Terrorism Blacklisting: Putting European Human Rights Guarantees to the Test’ (2008) 15 Constellations 543 .

54 See, generally, Scheppele, above n 32.

55 UNSC Res 1333 (2000).

56 Ibid, para 16(b).

57 Ibid, para 23.

58 UNSC Res 1390 (2002).

59 Ibid, para 3; further analysis in Gutherie, above n 6.

60 UNSC Res 1822 (2008).

61 Ibid, para 29.

62 Ibid, para 9.

63 ‘Guidelines Of The Committee For The Conduct Of Its Work’ (Adopted on 7 November 2002, as amended on 10 April 2003, revised on 21 December 2005 and amended on 29 November 2006).

64 UNSC Res 1730 (2006).

65 UNSC Res 1822 (2008).

66 Case T-253/02 Chafiq Ayadi v Council of the European Union [2006] ECR II-2139, para 149 (on appeal, pending Case C-403/06).

67 Case T-49/04 Hassan v Council of the European Union [2006] ECR II-52* (sum pub) (on appeal, pending Case C-399/06).

68 ‘UN Security Council and European Union blacklists’ Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Rapporteur: Mr Dick Marty (12 November 2007), para 45. For a reaction to the Marty report, see Gearty, above n 7.

69 Case C-50/00 Unión de Pequeños Agricultores v Council of the European Union [2002] ECR I-6677, para 38.

70 Ibid . See also Case 294/83 Les Verts v European Parliament [1986] ECR 1339, para 23; Opinion 1/91 [1991] ECR I-6079, para 35; Case T-177/01 Jégo-Quéré & Cie SA v Commission of the European Communities [2002] ECR II-2365, para 41; Case C-459/03 Commission v Ireland [2006] ECR I-4635, para 123.

71 Case 222/84 Johnston v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary [1986] ECR 1651, para 18 and Case C-424/99 Commission v Austria [2001] ECR I-9285, para 45; Case C-50/00 Unión de Pequeños Agricultores v Council of the European Union [2002] ECR I6677, para 39.

72 Opinion 2/94 [1996] ECR I-1759, para 33.

73 Case C-260/89 ERT [1991] ECR I-2925, para 41; Case C-299/95 Friedrich Kremzow v Republik Österreich [1997] ECR I-2629, para 14.

74 Craig, PP, EU Administrative Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006) 343 .

75 According to the Court, Art 297 TEC was ‘specifically introduced into the Treaty in order to observe the rule of primacy’ laid down in Art 103 UN Charter: Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 188. A more literal reading of the Article and its associated case law suggests that it was included to cover the event of a ‘wholly exceptional situation’ (Case 222/84 Johnston (above n 71) [1986] ECR 1651, para 27). Such a situation covers ‘the event of serious internal disturbances affecting the maintenance of law and order, in the event of war, serious international tension constituting a threat of war, or in order to carry out obligations it has accepted for the purpose of maintaining peace and international security’ (Art 297 TEC). The CFI’s claim that Art 297 TEC was ‘specifically introduced’ to observe the primacy of the UN Charter is without textual support in the Treaty and the ECJ’s jurisprudence.

76 Art 307 TEC regulates the relationship between EC law and international treaties concluded by Member States prior to the entry into force of the TEC or, for acceding states, before the date of their accession. The CFI referred only to para (1) of Art 307, which establishes that the rights and obligations arising from the said treaties shall not be affected by the provisions. In Case 812/79 Attorney General v Juan C Burgoa [1980] ECR 2787, the ECJ observed that Art 307(1) TEC was of general scope and that it applied to any international agreement, irrespective of subject-matter. This would clearly include the UN Charter, as five of the six original Member States were already members of the UN on 1 January 1958 (the Federal Republic of Germany was not formally admitted as a member of the UN until 18 September 1973). Interestingly, the CFI did not cite Art 307(2) TEC which states that ‘[t]o the extent that such agreements are not compatible with this Treaty, the Member State or States concerned shall take all appropriate steps to eliminate the incompatibilities established’.

77 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 217.

78 Under Art 53 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969, a treaty is void if it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law (jus cogens ), which is defined as ‘a norm accepted and recognised by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character’. See generally Bianchi, A, ‘Human Rights and the Magic of Jus Cogens ’ (2008) 19 EJIL 491 .

79 Benvenisti, E, ‘Judicial Misgivings Regarding the Application of International Law: An Analysis of Attitudes of National Courts’ (1993) 4 EJIL 159, 166–7.

80 Walker, , ‘Beyond Boundary Disputes’, above n 2, 6 .

81 Malanczuk, P, A Modern Introduction to International Law, 7th edn (London, Routledge, 1997) 65 . See also Oliver, Lord in Maclaine Watson v Department of Trade and Industry [1989] 3 All ER 523 (HL) 531 : ‘as a matter of the constitutional law of the United Kingdom, the royal prerogative, whilst it embraces the making of treaties, does not extend to altering the law or conferring rights on individuals or depriving individuals of rights which they enjoy in domestic law without the intervention of Parliament. Treaties, as it is sometimes expressed, are not self-executing. Quite simply, a treaty is not part of English law unless and until it has been incorporated into the law by legislation’.

82 See generally Schütze, ‘On “Middle Ground”’, above n 3.

83 Case C-162/96 A Racke GmbH & Co v Hauptzollamt Mainz [1998] ECR I-3655, paras 45 and 46.

84 Case T-184/95 Dorsch Consult v Council and Commission [1998] ECR II-667, para 74.

85 Opinion 1/91 (EEA Agreement) [1991] ECR 6079, para 21.

86 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, paras 188 and 185.

87 Ibid, para 193.

88 Schütze refers to the CFI’s use of these provisions as ‘spurious’ (above n 3, 21), whereas Tomuschat finds that the CFI’s analysis ‘does not show any weakness’ (above n 3, 542).

89 S Robin-Oliver, ‘Normative Interactions and the Development of Labour Law: A European Perspective’ (ch 13 in the present volume) makes a similar point. See also Scheppele, above n 32, 350.

90 Joint Declaration by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, OJ 1977 C103/1.

91 Case 4/73 Nold v Commission [1974] ECR 491, para 13; Case 36/75 Rutili v Ministre de l’intérieur [1975] ECR 1219, para 32.

92 Schermers, , ‘Community Law and International Law’ (1975) 12 CML Rev 77, 83.

93 The Council’s Guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures (sanctions) in the framework of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy of 3 December 2003, state in para 27: ‘Legal security and transparency considerations militate against general legal instruments creating rights and obligations for the private sector by mere reference to any other instrument, which does not have direct effect in the EU legal order. The current legislative procedure requires the adoption of a CFSP legal instrument and an implementing Council Regulation based on the EC Treaty, based on a Commission proposal’. The CFSP Common Position requires unanimity in the Council, and the common legislative procedure to be followed in order to make the sanctions legally binding and enforceable is set out in Art 301 TEC.

94 de Búrca, above n 3.

95 See Costa v ENEL, above n 24, para 594: whereas the language of the proceedings was Italian, the language of the judgment was French, which is clearer on the idea of autonomy: ‘Attendu qu’il résulte de l’ensemble de ces éléments, qu’issu d’une source autonome, le droit né du traité ne pourrait donc, en raison de sa nature spécifique originale, se voir judiciairement opposer un texte interne quel qu’il soit, sans perdre son caractère communautaire et sans que soit mise en cause la base juridique de la Communauté elle-même’: Recueil de la Jurisprudence de la Cour vol X [1964] 1160. See also Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH, above n 24, para 3. See, generally, Barents, R, The Autonomy of Community Law (The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2004).

96 Case T-315/01 Kadi, above n 17, para 199.

97 Ibid, para 208.

98 Ibid, para 214.

99 Ibid, para 231. This is an odd result, especially since Regulations are mentioned (with Decisions) in Art 230 TEC. Moreover, in its Guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures (sanctions) in the framework of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy of 3 December 2003, the Council stated that: ‘EU decisions and procedures must respect human rights and fundamental freedoms; this implies, in particular, that proper attention is given to the protection and observance of the due process rights of the persons to be listed. This is also important because targeted restrictive measures are taken through legal instruments that may be subject to judicial review’ (para 13).

100 Art 34(1) Statute of the International Court of Justice. See also Alvarez, J, ‘Judging the Security Council’ (1996) 90 AJIL 1 ; Cannizzaro, E, ‘A Machiavellian Moment? The UN Security Council and the Rule of Law’ (2006) 3 International Organizations Law Review 189 . For the view that the ICJ has an incidental review competences over UNSC resolutions see Mégret, F and Hoffmann, F, ‘The United Nations Changing Human Rights Responsibilities’ (2003) 25 Human Rights Quarterly 314, 317.

101 Art 94 reads as follows: ‘1. Each member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the international Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party. 2. If any party to a case fails to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a judgment rendered by the Court, the other party may have recourse to the Security Council, which may, if it deems necessary, make recommendations or decide upon measures to be taken to give effect to the judgment’.

102 H Kelsen, ‘The Settlement of Disputes by the Security Council’ (1948) International Law Quarterly 211; Tanzi, A, ‘Problems of Enforcement of Decisions of the International Court of Justice and the Law of the United Nations’ (1995) 6 EJIL 539 .

103 Tomuschat, above n 3, 551.

104 ICJ, Case Concerning Questions of Interpretation and Application of the 1971 Montreal Convention Arising from the Aerial Incident at Lockerbie (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya v United Kingdom ), 14 April 1992, ICJ Reports 1992, para 39.

105 Kelsen, H, Principles of International Law, 2nd edn (New York, Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1966) 502 ff. Elsewhere, Kelsen notes that the phrasing of ‘lex posterior derogat legi priori ‘ is misleading as it suggests that derogation is a function of the later norm. Instead, it is the function of a third positive norm, not of a logical precept. ‘[The fact that] a norm which regulates derogation, taking place when norms are conflicting with each other, is usually not present as an expressly formulated norm in a positive legal order … can be explained by the fact that the legislator omits formulating expressly much which he silently presupposes and assumes to be self-understood’. Kelsen understands the rules of collision as rules of interpretation, and so long as they are applied by the courts, ‘their existence is taken for granted by the legislator … If this is the case, the principles are positive legal norms’. But Kelsen concludes by saying that ‘conflicts between norms remain unresolved unless derogating norms are expressly stipulated or silently presupposed’: Kelsen, H, ‘Derogation’ in Klecatsky, H et al (eds), Die Wiener rechtstheoretische Schule vol II (Vienna, Europa-Verl, 1968) 1429, 1442.

106 The hierarchy of the two rules of collision is slightly more controversial. Pauwelyn claims that its non-inclusion in the Vienna Convention renders the principle of lex specialis inferior to lex posterior: Pauwelyn, J, Conflict of Norms in Public International Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003) 408 . However, the Vienna Convention has not been signed by a significant number of states. So, arguably, lex prior specialis takes priority over lex posterior generalis as a matter of customary international law (‘if the scope of the later treaty provisions is broader than that of the earlier ones the maxim lex posterior generalis non derogate priori specialis applies’): Aufricht, H, ‘Supersession of Treaties in International Law’ (1952) 37 Comparative Law Quarterly 698 . In its 57th session, the International Law Commission considered the function and scope of the lex specialis rule:, visited 20 December 2008.

107 See Jenks, CW, ‘The Conflict of Law-Making Treaties’ (1953) 30 British Yearbook of International Law 401, 436 ff, who identified seven rules of collision (‘the hierarchic principle, the lex prior principle, the lex posterior principle, the lex specialis principle, the autonomous operation principle, the ‘pith and substance’ principle, and the legislative intention principle’) and concluded that ‘[t]here are a number of principles and rules which must be weighed and reconciled in the light of the circumstances of the particular case’.

108 Macdonald, R, ‘The Charter of the United Nations and the Development of Fundamental Principles of International Law’ in Cheng, B and Brown, ED (eds), Contemporary Problems of International Law: Essays in Honour of Georg Schwarzenberger on his Eightieth Birthday (London, Stevens, 1988) 202 .

109 See generally Vranes, E, ‘Lex Superior, Lex Specialis, Lex Posterior —Zur Rechtsnatur der Konfliktlösungsregeln’ (2005) 65 ZaöRV 391 .

110 Gill, TD, ‘Legal and Some Political Limitations of the Power of the UN Security Council to Exercise its Enforcement Powers under Chapter VII of the Charter’ (1995) 1 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 33, 73–106.

111 Allan, TRS, ‘Human Rights And Judicial Review: A Critique Of “Due Deference”’ (2006) 65 CLJ 671, 674.

112 Liversidge v Anderson [1942] AC 206 (HL) 244; see, generally, Dyzenhaus, D, ‘Intimations of Legality Amid the Clash of Arms’ (2004) 2 ICON 244 .

113 AG Maduro Opinion, above n 27.

114 Ibid, para 19.

115 Ibid, para 24.

116 Ibid.

117 See text relating to nn 126–32 below.

118 AG Maduro Opinion, above n 27, para 44.

119 Ibid, para 53.

120 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation, above n 1, para 291, citing Case C-286/90 Poulsen and Diva Navigation [1992] ECR I-6019.

121 Ibid, paras 291–4.

122 Ibid, paras 286–7 and 327.

123 Ibid, para 285.

124 Ibid, paras 281–4.

125 Ibid, para 326: The ECJ ‘must … ensure the review … of the lawfulness of all Community acts in the lights of the fundamental rights forming an integral part of the general principles of Community law’. See also Case 5/88 Wachauf [1989] ECR 2609, 2639: ‘The requirements flowing from the protection of fundamental rights in the Community legal order are also binding on Member States when they implement Community rules’. See also the Opinion of Advocate General Jacobs in this case, who took the view that ‘when acting in pursuance of powers granted under Community law, member states must be subject to the same constraints, in any event in relation to the principle of respect for fundamental rights, as the Community legislator’ (Ibid, 2629). See also Case C-305/05 Ordre des barreaux francophones and germanophone [2007] ECR I-5305, para 28.

126 See Halberstam and Stein, above n 4; Gattini, A, ‘Joined Cases C-402/05 P & 415/05 P, Yassin Abdullah Kadi, Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council and Commission, Judgment of the Grand Chamber of 3 September 2008, nyr’ (2009) 46 CML Rev 213, 213–14, 224.

127 de Búrca, above n 3.

128 Weiler, JHH, ‘Editorial’ (2008) 19 EJIL 895, 896.

129 P Eeckhout, ‘Kadi and Al Barakaat: Luxembourg is not Texas—or Washington DC’, available at:, visited 01 March 2009.

130 Benvenisti, E, ‘Reclaiming Democracy: The Strategic Uses of Foreign and International Law by National Courts’ (2008) 102 AJIL 241, 244.

131 J Goldsmith and E Posner, ‘Does Europe Believe in International Law?’ The Wall Street Journal, 25 November 2008. This argument obviously borrows from US Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, who has reasoned that ‘to invoke alien law when it agrees with one’s own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decision-making, but sophistry’: Roper v Simmons 543 US 551 (2005) 21 (dissenting). Goldsmith and Posner’s argument is also a bit rich given the US Supreme Court’s decision in Medellin v Texas 552 US (2008), in which a judgment of the International Court of Justice was deemed not to be enforceable in the US without prior congressional action: see Kirgis, FL, ‘International Law in the American Courts: the United States Supreme Court Declines to Enforce the ICJ’s Avena Judgment Relating to a US Obligation under the Convention on Consular Relations’ (2008) 9 German Law Journal 619 ; and, for those with a sense of history: Highet, K, ‘Litigation Implications of the US Withdrawal from the Nicaragua Case’ (1985) 79 AJIL 992 .

132 For an examination of the controversy surrounding comparative constitutional law in the courts see Murkens, J, ‘Comparative Constitutional Law in the Courts: Reflections on the Originalists’ Objections’ (2008) 41 Verfassung und Recht in Uebersee 32 (also available as LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No 15/2008).

133 Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation, above n 1, para 290.

134 Ibid, para 299.

135 Ibid, para 300.

136 Ibid, paras 303 and 304.

137 Ibid, para 305.

138 Ibid, para 316.

139 Ibid, para 326.

140 Ibid, para 344, citing Chahal v United Kingdom (App no 22414/93) (1997) 23 EHRR 413.

141 Tomuschat, above n 3, 539.

142 Tridimas and Gutierrez-Fons, above n 12.

143 G de Búrca, above n 3.

144 Ibid.

145 Ibid.

146 See also Eeckhout, ‘Kadi and Al Barakaat: Luxembourg is not Texas—or Washington DC’, above n 129.

147 See also Schütze, above n 3, 24–5.

148 Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH v Einfuhr und Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel [1974] 2 CMLR 540 (English version); BVerfGE 37, 271 (German version). For an overview of extra-judicial comment on the ECJ’s position in the run-up to the case see Alter, KJ, Establishing the Supremacy of European Law: the Making of an International Rule of Law in Europe (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001) 87–98.

149 Eeckhout, above, n 7, 205. See also Schütze, above n 3, 27.

150 ‘Ohne Wenn und Aber’ in Der Spiegel 3/2008, 24.

151 Case C-144/04 Werner Mangold v Rüdiger Helm [2005] ECR I-9981.

152 R Herzog and L Gerken, ‘Stop the European Court of Justice’, available at: pdf, visited 22 December 2008. And see also the same authors more moderately in The Spirit of the Time: Revise the European Constitution to Protect National Parliamentary Democracy’ (2007) 3 EuConst 209, especially 212, 216.

153 Jackson and others v Her Majesty’s Attorney General [2006] 1 AC 262; [2005] UKHL 56, para 102.

154 Ibid, para 159.

155 Jowell, J, ‘The Rule of Law and Its Underlying Values’ in Jowell, J and Oliver, D (eds), The Changing Constitution, 6th edn (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007) 23 .

156 Case C-106/89 Marleasing SA v La Comercial Internacional de Alimentacion SA [1990] ECR I-4135.

157 Case 314/85 Foto-Frost v Hauptzollamt Lübeck-Ost [1987] ECR 4199.

158 Manfred Brunner v European Union Treaty 12 October 1993, BVerfGE 89, 155, 188; Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2002] EWHC 195 (Admin) para 69, per Laws LJ; Pl US 50/04 Sugar Quota Regulation II, Judgment of 8 March 2008 at:

159 Costa v ENEL, above n 24; Case 106/77 Simmenthal II [1978] ECR 629; Winter, J, ‘Direct Applicability and Direct Effect: Two Distinct and Different Concepts in Community Law’ (1972) 9 CML Rev 425 .

160 Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH, above n 24.

161 Re The Application of Wünsche Handelsgesellschaft [1987] 3 CML Rev 225 (English version); BVerfGE 73, 339 (German version).

162 Case 11/70 Handelsgesellschaft mbH v Einfuhr und Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel [1970] ECR 1125.

163 Ibid, 1134.

164 Tomuschat, above n 3, 544.

165 von Bogdandy, above n 2, 398.

166 EG ABl Nr C 103/1; 27 April 1977.

167 Charter of Fundamental Rights OJ 2000 C364/01. Or, at least, the Charter will formally have done so as and when the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force.

168 Case 29/69 Erich Stauder v City of Ulm, Sozialamt [1969] ECR 419.

169 Cases 43 and 63/84 Heinrich Maag v Commission [1985] ECR 2581; Case 159/90 The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Ireland Ltd v Grogan [1991] ECR I-4685.

170 Case 130/75 Prais v Council [1976] ECR 1589.

171 Cases 17 and 20/61 Klöckner v High Authority [1962] ECR 325.

172 Case 136/79 National Panasonic v Commission [1980] ECR 2033; Cases 46/87 and 227/88 Hoechst v Commission [1989] ECR 2859.

173 Case 98/79 Pecastaing v Belgium [1980] ECR 691; Case 222/86 UNECTEF v Heylens [1987] ECR 4097.

174 Case 44/79 Hauer v Land Rheinland Pfalz [1979] ECR 3727. For details, see Cassese, A, Clapham, A and Weiler, JHH, Human Rights and the European Community: The Substantive Law (Baden-Baden, Nomos, 1991).

175 See, eg, Alcan Deutschland BVerfGE 175 (2000).

176 See, eg, Scholz, R, ‘Grundgesetz und europäische Einigung’ (1992) 45 Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 2593 .

177 See the discussion by U Everling, ‘Brauchen wir “Solange III “?’ [1990] Europarecht 195; R Scholz,’Wie lange bis Solange III?’ [1990] Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 941; C Tomuschat, ‘Aller guten Dinge sind III? Zur Diskussion um die Solange-Rechtsprechung des BVerfG’ [1990] Europarecht 340.

178 Europäischer Haftbefehl 113 BVerfGE 273 (2005), available in English at:

179 See Schünemann, B, ‘Europäischer Haftbefehl und EU-Verfassungsentwurf auf schiefer Ebene: Die Schranken des Grundgesetzes’ (2003) 36 Zeitschrift Für Rechtspolitk 185 , who expected a Solange III ruling.

180 Tomuschat, C, ‘Inconsistencies: The German Federal Constitutional Court on the European Arrest Warrant’ (2006) 2 European Community Law Review 209 .

181 See generally Nohlen, N, ‘Germany: The European Arrest Warrant case’ (2008) 6(1) ICON 153 ; C Lebeck, ‘National Constitutional Control and the Limits of European Integration: the European Arrest Warrant in the German Federal Constitutional Court’ [2007] Public Law 23.

182 See, generally, Scheppele, above n 32.

183 D Feldman, ‘Human Rights, Terrorism and Risk: the Roles of Politicians and Judges’ [2006] PL 364.

184 Benvenisti, , ‘Reclaiming Democracy’, above n 130, 253 .

185 Ibid, 255.

186 Slaughter, A-M, A New World Order (Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press, 2005), 79 .

187 Benvenisti, E, ‘United We Stand: National Courts Reviewing Counterterrorism Measures’ in Bianchi, A and Keller, A (eds), Counterterrorism: Democracy’s Challenge (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2008).

188 See Gattini, above n 126, 224.

* Department of Law, London School of Economics & Political Science. I would like to thank the Centre for European Legal Studies for inviting me to give a lunchtime seminar on 15 October 2008, which was chaired by Dr Okeoghene Odudu, and all those who attended. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the valuable comments by Karen Alter, Jochen von Bernstorff, Nico Krisch, Giorgio Monti, Anthea Roberts, Robert Schütze, and by the two anonymous referees. All translations, and all errors, are my own.

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Countering Anti-Constitutional Argument: The Reasons for the European Court of Justice’s Decision in Kadi and Al Barakaat

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