DID YOU KNOW that under the terms of our EC membership, the European Court of Justice has the final say in interpreting treaties and legislation. It can require Member States to take "any necessary measures" to comply with its judgements, and can impose penalty payments "as seen appropriate" (i.e. unlimited) for non-compliance. Euro-apologists try to tell us how much we need the Court to make EC membership workable for everyone. We reprint the views of various legal authorities.
"Member States' courts... were bound to apply Community Law. It could not be overridden by domestic legal provisions however framed without being deprived of its character as Community Law." (EC Court, Case 26/62)
"The supremacy of Community Law when in conflict with national law is
the logical consequence of the federal concept of the Community"
(H P Ipsen, 1964)
So much for Edward Heath's reassurances that there would be no erosion of essential sovereignty!
"The transfer by the States from their domestic legal system to the Community legal system of the rights and obligations arising under the Treaty carries with it a permanent limitation of their sovereign rights... against which a subsequent act incompatible with the concept of the Community cannot prevail" (Case 6/64).
This just shows the undemocratic nature of the EC - it would be illegal to renegotiate the membership Treaties to return lost powers to national governments.
And although the European Commission's propaganda in schools claims that the Court has
no powers to overturn the decisions of British courts, our courts are already obliged to
work within the rulings of the European Court [under section 3.1 of the European Communities Act, 1972]
The European Court can enforce any Treaty provisions as binding on the UK, with potentially unlimited fines for non-compliance:
Treaty of Nice, Title II, Art 10
"Members States shall take all appropriate measures, whether general or particular, to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of this Treaty or resulting from actions taken by the institutions of the Community. They shall also facilitate the achievement of the Community's tasks.
They shall abstain from any measure which could jeopardise the objectives of the Community."
Treaty of Nice, Title I, Art 3
"The Union shall be served by a single institutional framework which shall ensure the consistency and the continuity of activities carried out in order to attain its objectives while respecting and building upon the acquis communautaire...."
References to European Court cases:
1 Law & the Institutions of the European Union; Lasok & Bridge (Butterworths, 1994)
2 European Community Law, Charlesworth & Cullen (Pitmans Publishing, 1994)
References to 'Treaty of Nice'
The Treaty of Nice in Perspective; Anthony Cowgill and Andrew Cowgill (BMDF, 2001)
(NB 2 volumes, available from the publishers:
British Management Data Foundation,
Tel: (01452) 812837)