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‘The functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy.’ This the new Union Treaty echoes from the Constitutional Treaty. ‘Citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament.’ It means that the Union pretends to be a democracy and challenges the thesis, held by some, that democracy cannot be applied to an international organization. The mere ambition does not, however, answer the Union's shortcomings in terms of democracy.
Powers of High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina ‘reminiscent of a totalitarian regime’ – February 2007: Constitutional Court challenges decisions of the High Representative for being contrary to Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights – Order of the High Representative: execution of the Court's decision contrary to Article 25 UN Charter – Ruling by command may lastingly hinder democratic development
Meanings of pluralism in different disciplines – Meaning in jurisprudence, esp. ECtHR – Feature of society and idea of society – Individual freedom v. group existence – Politics, religion, education – Pluralism as expression of rights and as guarantee of rights – Rejection of legal pluralism – Contradiction of elitist theory – State protection of pluralism and its limits
Forms of res judicata – Unwritten principle of EU law – National procedural autonomy v. EC supremacy – Revision of decisions v. state liability – Finality of administrative decisions v. judicial decisions – Higher respect for judicial decisions than for administrative decisions – Res judicata not absolute – ECJ itself under demands of legal certainty – Analogy between res judicata rules and rules of direct and indirect effect.
Influence of the Czech accession to the European Union on the judicial ideology of Czech courts – Questions regarding the constitutional status of European Union law in the Czech Republic – Czech Constitutional Court: no testing of so-called necessitated implementing provisions, except when core constitutional values and principles are at stake – Extension of this doctrine to non-Community Union law – An act contrary to Union law is not as such also contrary to the Czech Constitution
Conseil constitutionnel and Conseil d'Etat now both hold that Article 88-1 of the French Constitution contains the duty to implement Community law – The Conseil constitutionnel tests whether acts of parliament manifestly contravene unconditional and precisely phrased provisions of Community law – Duty to implement Community law limited by France's constitutional identity for the Conseil constitutionnel, by the absence of equivalent protection on the Community level for the Conseil d'Etat – Supremacy of the Constitution not affected
What governs the first entrance to the territory of a member state by a third country national who is a family-member of a European citizen who has migrated to that member state: (secondary) Community law or national law? This question, of the utmost constitutional importance as it regards the power to decide on the entrance of foreigners on national territory, one of the pearls in the crown of traditional national sovereignty, was facing the Court of Justice of the European Communities in the case of Yunying Jia v. Migrationsverket. Earlier the Court had sent out different signals. Now, in the long-awaited and remarkably short full Court decision of 9 January 2007, the Court carefully manoeuvred between Scylla (the member states are in full control) and Charybdis (Community law decides all): a member state is not required to make the grant of a residence permit to a third country national subject to the condition of lawful residence in a member state – but it apparently may do so. It is quite unlikely that this judgment once and for all settles the question.
On 29 May 2005 the French said no to the draft of a European Constitution. And frankly, the French should know about constitutions! One can differ whether the history of France should be considered a fruitful garden of constitutional thought, a graveyard of constitutional experiments, a ‘musée des constitutions’, or a minefield; in any case it is beyond doubt that the French are rather experienced in constitutions and constitutional changes. Since the French Revolution in 1789, France has been a monarchy, a republic more than once, an empire twice and a constitutional monarchy in between; the nineteenth century shows the pattern monarchy, republic, empire; since 1958 the French live in their Fifth Republic.
There is a lot to learn from the constitutional history (perhaps struggle is a better word in this context) of this important European country for any political entity in search of a proper constitution. Which constitutional institutions were a success, which were not; why did it or did it not work out the way it was planned?