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European Constitutional Law

European Constitutional Law (3rd edn)

Robert Schütze
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date: 12 June 2024

p. 40911. Judicial Powers II

(Decentralized) National Procedureslocked

p. 40911. Judicial Powers II

(Decentralized) National Procedureslocked

  • Robert Schütze


This chapter discusses the ‘decentralized’ powers of the European Court of Justice. It looks at two specific constitutional principles that the Court has derived from the general duty of sincere cooperation: the principle of equivalence and the principle of effectiveness. Both principles have led to a significant judicial harmonization of national procedural laws. The chapter then turns to a third incursion into the procedural autonomy of national courts: the liability principle. While the previous two principles relied on the existence of national remedies for the enforcement of European law, this principle establishes a European remedy for proceedings in national courts. An individual can here, under certain conditions, claim compensatory damages resulting from a breach of European law. Importantly, the remedial competence of national courts is confined to national wrongs. They cannot give judgments on ‘European’ wrongs, as jurisdiction over the latter is—like the power to annul Union law—an exclusive power of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Finally, the chapter explores what happens in areas in which the Union has harmonized the remedial or jurisdictional competences of national courts.

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