European Law

European Law

"The Preliminary Ruling Procedure, which is also referred to as the Article 234 Reference, provides the link or bridge between the national legal systems and the Community legal system"

Nigel Foster "Foster on EU Law "OUP 2006 p171.

Discuss this statement, commenting on the development of the process itself and its impact as a "bridge between the national legal systems and the Community legal system".

The relationship that has developed between the courts of the Member States and the Community Court is one of profound value. National courts have recognized the need for clarification in deciding matters on Community law without compromising the consistency of national law. The importance of this relationship will be discussed in light of the ‘interpretation’ and ‘application’ of Community law and the relevant parties reflecting both concepts.

The preliminary ruling procedure, also referred to as Article 234 is the link between ‘courts’ or ‘tribunals’ and the ECJ. Consequently, the former refers questions of law for clarification and interpretation. The division of interpretation and application of Community law also preserves the independence of national courts or tribunals . The procedure has helped to develop and define the law of the Community in that once a provision has been interpreted it is applicable in all Member States. The ECJ initiates a ‘teleological’ approach when interpreting legislation. This was defined in Re Adidas combining a contextual and purposive method.

Article 234 has been described as “an instrument of cooperation between itself and the national courts” . It is essential to the conformity of Member States and upholds the supremacy of EU law as it represents a competent legal system. The ECJ has also redeemed supremacy by incorporating the doctrine of direct effect into the EU providing the basis of an operative bridge for the common market and the developing constitution. All Member States have an active role of...

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