Upholding the rule of law in times of crisis: (ineffective) procedures under Article 7 TEU and possible solutions

Patricia Jaworek

Since 2016, the Polish parliament has introduced several new laws that challenge the very foundation of the Polish judicial system, particularly the Polish Supreme Court. These reforms not only represent a further step of the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) in reducing the independence of the country’s judiciary, but they also pose a threat to one of the European Union’s most fundamental principles: The rule of law. Against this background, this paper shortly outlines the legal instruments available under EU law for securing the rule of law, discusses possible weaknesses of these measures and presents alternative approaches to redress existing violations.

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Is Uber a taxi service? Socio-legal reflections on the ECJ decision and beyond  

Serena Natile – Postdoctoral Researcher at King’s College London and Associate Lecturer at Kent Law School, University of Kent

Just before the holiday break, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in its first ruling on the gig economy decided that the global digitally-enabled taxi company, Uber, is a transportation and not an information service and can be regulated by Member States (MS). This judgement has raised important questions regarding the regulation and social implications of digital platforms according to EU law and beyond. While the ECJ’s decision created more grounds to protect workers’ rights in the sharing economy and contributed to the debate on the allocation of EU/MS competences within the digital domain, it also offers useful insights to reflect on the social role of digital platforms more generally.

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Ajos (Dansk Industri) –A challenge to the primacy of EU law?

Martina Benackova – 3rd year LLB student at UCL

In the Ajos case[1], the Supreme Court of Denmark (SCDK) referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) two questions relating to the compatibility of paragraph 2a(3) of the Danish Salaried Employees Act with Directive 2000/78/EC, establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation[2].

Despite the clear instructions received from the ECJ, the SCDK refused to set aside the conflicting provision of national law, giving precedence to national law over EU law instead.[3]

This paper shortly summarises the facts of the case and the reasoning of the SCDK, discussing them in the framework of the Treaty principles of supremacy of EU law and loyal cooperation. It then maintains that the decision of the SCDK in Ajos is an illustration of judicial disobedience of a national Court vis-à-vis the ECJ, which threatens the doctrine of the primacy of EU law as established by the European Court in the landmark decision Costa v ENEL[4].

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The EU’s Investment Court System. A possible solution to conflicts of interest in Investment Arbitration.

Elisabeth Talbourdet – King’s College London Dickson Poon School of Law Alumnus (‘16)

The future of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is uncertain at best. Although it may never come to an existence, one of the most important novelties introduced by the TTIP, and which seems destined to stay, is its new Investor-State dispute resolution mechanism, the ‘Investment Court System’ (ICS). Indeed, even if not included in the TTIP, the idea of an ICS is present in other investment treaties, such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.[1]

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