Review by Constitutional Courts of the Obligation of National Courts of Last Instance to Refer a Preliminary Question to the Court of Justice of the EU

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Volume 16, Number 6, Pages 1663-1700
Publication Date December 2015
Content Type


The Constitutional Courts of a number of Member States exert a constitutional review on the obligation of national courts of last instance to make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Pursuant to Article 267(3) TFEU, national courts of last instance, namely courts or tribunals against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law, are required to refer to the CJEU for a preliminary question related to the interpretation of the Treaties or the validity and interpretation of acts of European Union (EU) institutions. The CJEU specified the exceptions to this obligation in CILFIT. Indeed, national courts of last instance have a crucial role according to the devolution to national judges of the task of ensuring, in collaboration with the CJEU, the full application of EU law in all Member States and the judicial protection of individuals’ rights under EU law. With preliminary references as the keystone of the EU judicial system, the cooperation of national judges with the CJEU forms part of the EU constitutional structure in accordance with Article 19(1) TEU.

This article focuses on the case law of the Member States where individuals are entitled to introduce a constitutional complaint before the Constitutional Court for a violation of the constitution and to challenge the decision of a court of last instance not to refer to the CJEU.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Subject Tags ,
International Organisations
Record URL