EU Law - Jurisdiction of the CJEU


Possible Question

It has been judicially recognised that the European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU) can, under certain circumstances, refuse to hear a reference sent from a national court in accordance with Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It has also been judicially recognised that national supreme courts can refuse to send a reference in certain circumstances.

Explain what these circumstances are, and consider whether it is appropriate to limit dialogue under Article 267 TFEU in this way? (2019)

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Essay Structure


  • This essay seeks to outline the circumstances in which the CJEU can refuse to hear an A267 TFEU reference, and the circumstances wherein national courts may refuse to send them.
  • Considering overall the appropriateness of such refusals pursuant to the goal of both judicial, dialogue, and cooperation between such bodies of law.

Article 267 TFEU

CJEU Refusal

Consequences of Refusal of CJEU

National Courts Refusal

Criticisms of Limiting Dialogue

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General Quotes on A267 TFEU

  • ‘In practice, the relationship between the Court of Justice and the national courts, including the supreme courts, has worked reasonably well—as well, at any rate, as could reasonably have been expected in a federal or quasi-federal system. Tension has, on the whole, been avoided by the exercise of common sense on both sides’. David Edward quoting , the comparative study of EU and US practice in Matthew T King, Towards a Practical Convergence: The Dynamic Uses of Judicial Advice in United States Federal Courts and the Court of Justice of the European Communities (2002) 63 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 703.
  • ‘The purpose of Article 267 TFEU is ‘to ensure that [Union] law is interpreted and applied in a uniform manner in all Member States’ and that ‘the particular objective of the third paragraph is to prevent a body of national case law not in accord with the rules of [Union] law from coming into existence in any Member State 'Case 107/76 Hoffmann-La Roche [1977] ECR 957, para 5; Joined cases C-35 and C-36/82, Morton and Jhanjan [1982] ECR 3723, para 8; Case C-3/16 Aquino, ECLI:EU:C:2017:209, para 33
  •  ’The preliminary reference procedure is therefore a special form of judicial dialogue between the CJEU and national courts. While the CJEU has the exclusive competence to rule on the interpretation and validity of EU law, it also acknowledges that national courts and authorities are the ones who actually apply EU law most often.  - - articles/10.5334/ujiel.455/#n13
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