The European Judicial System – I part
Let’s begin with the concept of "Union’s jurisdiction". It would be a mistake to believe that only the jurisdictional institutions of the Union, constituted by the Treaties of the Union and of the European Communities, summarize, by themselves, the concept of "Union’s jurisdiction". In fact, the community law has a decentralized application. The rights of the single persons, that is the citizens and the legal persons, are the rights enforced in the territories of the member states before the administrations of the member states, either they are central administrations or local ones. In case of traverse, these rights can be brought before the national courts. So the national judges are the natural judges of the European Union’s law and possibly they can perform this action or they’ll have to do it, in case they have to judge in the last resort, in collaboration with the Court of Justice. Which is the general task of the community jurisdiction? To be precise, the article 220 of the constitutional Treaty of the European Community, as per modification of the Treaty of Nice in 2001, says: " The Court of Justice and the trial court guarantee, according to their respective competences, the application of the law in the interpretation and implementation of the current Treaty " (considering the fact that the current Treaty includes everything, not only the norms of the Treaty, but also all the norms of the so-called derived community law, that is the norms applied by the institutions). This formula of the Treaty, that has been existing since the Treaty of Rome, appropriately expresses two concepts, which are: the nature of the Community and of the Union as "Law Communities" and the Treaties considered as "Constitutional charts of the European Union ". The Court has maintained all this in a judgement dating back to 1986, so well before the idea of a "European constitution”. But let’s see which the functions of the communitarian jurisdiction are. This can partly explain the peculiarity of the community jurisdiction, in the context of the European Union and the European Communities. First of all, there are some remarkable differences between the community jurisdiction and the international jurisdictions. As you know, in the international community the states are brought before an international judge only with their assent. On the contrary, in the community context, the jurisdiction is compulsory: the States have to, willy-nilly, to answer for their behaviour before the community judge. Secondly, it is an exclusive jurisdiction, since the national judicial institutions have no power in the fields under the community justice institutions’ competence. The third characteristic that differentiates once more the Union’s law from the internal law is the fact that it is open to the private individual. The latter is a subject of the Union’s law. The system of community justice does not correspond to the typologies we have in the internal systems; in the national system we have a constitutional court, we have a civil, penal and administrative judge. In the community system, we have a combination of different competences that are characteristic of the international system: the disputes among states, the allocation of the competences between states and communities and between institutions of the community, the administrative competences, the annulment of the acts of the community and finally, some regulative competences, that is collaboration between national judge and community judge.
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