Toutes ces institutions pourront etre modifi ées et améliorées a l'expérienceJean Monnet
The process of European integration is “evolving and the form it fi nally takes still cannot be predicted”. The European judiciary – i.e. the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and national courts interpreting and applying European law sensu largo – have shaped this process actively, alongside the Founding Fathers, European nations, European states and their citizens. The involvement of judiciary raises its own wide range of questions concerning the very nature of democracy. Much ink has been already spilled over issues such as democratic legitimacy, subsidiarity and accountability, the rule of law or judicial activism. But it was the recently celebrated 50th anniversaries of Van Gend en Loos (1963) and Costa v ENEL (1964) judgements that gave us further impetus to ponder about the place of the European judiciary in the democratic life in the Old Continent and their role in the process of its integration.
Therefore, under the auspices of the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies (CDDS) at the Faculty of Law, University of Białystok, in March 2014 we issued a call for papers and seventeen scholars from across Europe, predominantly young researchers, have kindly responded thereto and shared their views on the European judiciary as a challenge for democracy.
The present book constitutes the third fruit of our academic interest in the questions posed by European integration and democracy. In 2012 the Centre established a dedicated, peer-reviewed book series that produced, up-to-date, two volumes. It is edifying that from this volume onwards, the reputable Belgian-based international publishing house Intersentia has decided to publish this series.
The various contributions to the present volume have been split into two parts. The first provides ten chapters on the judicial systems of the European Union (EU), discussing, inter alia, recognition of democratic principles in the case law of the CJEU, contribution thereof to the democratisation of the Union and reception of EU law in the Member States. The second part discusses the judicial means to protect human rights in Europe, consisting of three chapters devoted to the promise of advisory opinions of ECtHR as well as to democratic standards for voting and for fair trial.