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Title: EU civil procedure and access to justice after the Lisbon Treaty : perspectives for a coherent approach
Author: Vernadaki, Z. G.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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In the decentralised EU judicial system, EU institutions should intervene in national procedural regimes to guarantee effective dispute resolution and enforcement of EU law based claims before Member States’ courts, using as a yardstick the fundamental right of access to justice (Article 47 CFREU). Pursuant to Article 51 CFREU, EU institutions should promote the application of the right of access to justice, limiting national institutional barriers to accessing courts under fair and efficient proceedings, while respecting their competences. This could limit the distortion of competition in the Internal Market, facilitate commercial activities in the EU, and reduce abusive forum shopping. These positive effects should be weighed against the respect of Member States’ legal traditions, the learning effects of procedural diversity, and the incentives for lobbyism. CJEU first approximated Member States’ rules on time limits, interim relief, evidential rules, and reparation. However, its factual approach, and its incapacity to appraise 28 different national procedural systems prevent it from establishing systematic and detailed EU civil procedure rules. Moreover, secondary legislative EU measures, such as the IPRED, harmonise national procedures in specific areas of substantive EU law. Their impact is felt more widely in domestic procedural orders, introducing rules of limited effectiveness that fail to strike a definitive balance between the claimants’ interests to enforce their EU rights, and the defendants’ interests to constrain such enforcement. Even horizontal legislative EU measures that introduce optional EU procedural mechanisms, such as the ESCP, have a limited, mainly disrupting, impact on national procedural systems, applying solely to cross-border disputes, thus leading to multiplicity of procedures in national legal orders. In light of the current discussions for a horizontal EU collective redress mechanism promoting effective access to justice, Article 81(2)(e) TFEU constitutes the better way forward. This provision is amenable to an expansive interpretation, which permits the approximation of national civil procedure laws in order to ensure effective access to justice for both domestic and cross-border EU law disputes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available