Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Adam Lazowski and Steven Blockmans
Chapter 10: Judicial review in EU law: a post-Lisbon perspective
Judicial review of measures adopted by public authorities is a fundamental constitutional guarantee constituting one of the pillars of the rule of law. It is also a vast subject in comparative public law, given that the conditions for judicial review vary among the legal systems, making it difficult to find a common denominator. Although it is generally recognised as an intrinsic element of democratic society, the right to review of a public measure by an independent court has no one accepted axiological justification. Judicial review may be regarded as a mechanism which institutionalises the right to justification, by guaranteeing that only those laws are enforced which can be justified by reasons that a person might reasonably accept as a free and equal citizen. From that perspective, the right to contest acts of public authorities is one of the basic commitments of liberal democracy, just as the equal right to vote in free and fair elections. This chapter explores the functioning of judicial review in the legal order of the European Union from the perspective of three intertwined positions. First, the following part of the chapter outlines the general context of the debate: it comments on the role of judicial review in Union law, addresses some of its specificities which are due to the existence of a multilevel system of judiciary and analyses the main elements of judicial review as reshaped by the Lisbon Treaty.
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