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Home » Archive » The Advantage Of Having The “First Word” In The Composite European Constitution

Nicola Lupo
The Advantage Of Having The “First Word” In The Composite European Constitution
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The article deals with the role that courts, in particular Constitutional Courts, play in the enforcement of the composite European Constitution, in relation to other actors, ordinary judges and legislators, at national level, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, at supranational level. It is argued that more important than determining who is entitled to pronounce the “last word” in this complex setting, is to answer the question about who has the “first word”. Besides the role that domestic legislators are expected to play and that they often fail to fulfil, the article supports that Constitutional Courts are in the best position to frame constitutionally sensitive questions through the preliminary reference mechanism to the Court of Justice in order to let the composite European Constitution work properly and to allow national constitutional identities to be effectively taken duly into account by the Court in Luxembourg. With this regard, the “Taricco saga”, with a fruitful interplay between the Italian Constitutional Court and the Court of Justice, is illustrative of such a best practice.

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