The Court of Justice, Legal Reasoning, and the Pringle Case—Law as the Continuation of Politics by Other Means

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Series Details Vol.39, No.2, April 2014 p234-250
Publication Date April 2014
ISSN 0307-5400
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Publishers Abstract:
The Court of Justice commonly adopts a cumulative approach to interpretative argumentation, which fuses teleology, systemic arguments and principles with textual arguments and judicial precedents. In one sense, the Court’s cumulative approach shares many features with the approach of national constitutional courts. In another, it has an inbuilt integrationist tendency, but also leaves for itself the discretion to adjust its decisions in the light of political sensitivities of the Member States—so-called 'hard cases'—and the collective interests of the EU institutions. In its Pringle judgment, which confirms the legality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the Court carries this cumulative approach to extremes. It fuses together, at times implausibly, literal, meta-teleological and contextual arguments to construct a justification for the legality of the ESM that sits uneasily with the 'no bail-out' principle of the TFEU and the ESM Treaty itself, and the text of almost all the relevant Treaty provisions on economic and monetary union.

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