The European Court of Justice's judicial activism

Andreas Grimmel, guest researcher at ARENA, comments on the European Court of Justice’s growing role in the domain of fundamental rights. He argues that it is not a sign of judicial activism, but of political insufficiencies.


A common criticism of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is that it engages in ‘activist’ rulings aimed at increasing its own power as an institution. Andreas Grimmel argues that many of these criticisms fail to put ECJ rulings within the context of wider EU integration.

In the field of fundamental rights, for instance, the ECJ is required to make rulings due to a number of conflicts between different EU objectives. Moreover, many EU decisions are deliberately left politically unclear on the assumption that the ECJ will ‘fill in the blanks’ at a later date. These examples reflect problems with the overall nature of EU decision-making, rather than simply the ECJ’s rulings.

Read the blog post here.

EUROPP (European Politics and Society) Blog, 16 August 2013


Published Aug. 19, 2013 3:02 PM - Last modified Sep. 7, 2021 10:38 AM