By Niovi Vavoula
Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Cian C Murphy (eds.) EU Security and Justice Law after Lisbon and Stockholm, Hart Publishing 2014, 211 pages, ISBN: 978-1-84946-422-2
Myriads of pages have been written about the impact of the Lisbon Treaty and the Stockholm Programme in the development of an EU ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’ (AFSJ). This volume, edited by Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Cian Murphy and including a foreword by Sir Francis Jacobs, aims at adding to the existing literature. In particular, it takes stock of the legal developments in the field after Lisbon and Stockholm and provides an evaluation on what has been achieved and where there are still shortcomings. The publication of the volume comes at an interesting time; it coincides with the end of the transitional period, signifying that the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the Commission will assume their full powers over the former third pillar and the pick-and-choose relationship of the United Kingdom with the field will reach a crossroads. Besides, a new multi-annual Programme (named after Rome or any other Italian city) will be adopted by the European Council.
The 20th century has witnessed an impressive rise of constitutional justice, in particular as regards the emergence of and role given to constitutional courts in many European countries and the CJEU at the supranational level. A lot of literature has covered aspects of this development, and in the academic debate several authors have also voiced criticism of this court-centred constitutionalism and academic obsession with courts. This can be seen e.g. in the recent issue of the German Law Journal which features a number of contributions on the Political Constitution as a counter movement. In this rich context, Maartje de Visser examines two questions in her book Constitutional Review in Europe: First, who should uphold the Constitution, and second, how is constitutional review organised? In an attempt to answer these questions, she scrutinizes the legal order of 11 European countries and the EU legal order. In this post, I will first briefly set out the structure and content of the book in some more detail, before offering some praise and criticism. Continue reading
On one of these random internet-research expeditions probably many of us do while we would have lots of better and more urgent things to do I discovered JOTWELL. The basic idea (see their ‘Mission Statement’ here) of this Journal of Things We Like (Lots) is that in today’s world of legal mass production/publication, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay on top of things. While people are generally able to keep abreast with their field, they find it difficult to judge what is worth reading in neighbouring fields or at a more general level. JOTWELL should thus close this lacuna in US law by providing information as to what is ‘new, important, and interesting in most areas of the law’.
The project of founding a veritable journal for this purpose as these US scholars have done may be beyond the reach of this blog. Still, the underlying idea of creating space for sharing readings merits further consideration. This is what the new category of blog posts on ‘pas obligatoire mais fortement recommandé/POMFR’ is going to be about. Continue reading