Volume 48 (2011)

Volume 48 (2011) / Issue 2

Paul Craig, 'The ECJ and ultra vires action: A conceptual analysis' (2011) 48 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 395–437


There has been debate as to whether the EU remains within the ambit of the competence assigned to it, and this concern has been voiced in relation to both EU legislative and judicial action. The Kompetenz-Kompetenz discourse is indeed premised on the fact that the boundary line as to what is intra or ultra vires the EU can be contestable, thereby rendering the issue of who has the last word all the more important. This article begins by specifying in greater detail the ways in which EU legislative or judicial action might be felt to transgress the limits of its assigned power. The analysis then shifts to the demands of coherence when assessing such claims, which is relevant albeit in different ways for the EU courts, academic commentators and national courts. This is followed by examination of some controversial areas, where it is felt that the EU may have strayed beyond its assigned power. The final section of the article examines some of the new challenges posed by the Lisbon Treaty.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2011018