The judgment : framing the argument
Title: The judgment : framing the argument
Author: CREMONA, Marise
Citation: Antonio TIZZANO, Julianne KOKOTT and Sacha PRECHAL (eds), 50th anniversary of the judgment in Van Gend en Loos 1963-2013 : conference proceedings, Luxembourg, 13 May 2013, Luxembourg : Office des publications de l’Union européenne, 2013, pp. 23-27
The shaping of the Van Gend en Loos judgment and its immediate impact provides the focus of the initial contributions and this short introduction reflects on the way the case was framed, by the Court itself, but also in the reasoning of the Advocate General and in the arguments of the Commission and others submitting observations. The framing of the legal issues in a case is of course one of the key functions, and tools, of a court. The Court of Justice in Van Gend en Loos adopted an approach with which we have since become familiar. It resists any temptation to frame the question in terms of competing international norms or the response of national constitutional law and defines its task, in relation to that of the national court, carefully. However having chosen its ground and defined its territory, it is not afraid to move within that frame from the technical nature and wording of Article 12 itself to the spirit and the general scheme of the Treaty as a whole and to make bold statements as to the nature of the Community system which the Treaty embodied. It leaves the national court in no doubt of its duty to protect rights derived from Community law. In thus framing this supposedly simple question of interpretation the Court laid the foundation not only for its own doctrines of individual rights and direct effect but also opened the way for the creative use in the future of the preliminary ruling procedure to develop Community law through the “vigilance of individuals”.
Type of Access: openAccess
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