EU Treaties and the Judicial Politics of National Courts: A Law and Politics Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

EU Treaties and the Judicial Politics of National Courts

A Law and Politics Approach, 1st Edition

By Pablo José Castillo Ortiz


234 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Cases such as the Maastricht ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court or the 'Crotty; decision by the Irish Supreme Court have gone down in the history of European integration as outstanding examples of intervention by judicial actors in important political processes. In this book, Dr. Castillo Ortiz makes for the first time a comprehensive analysis of all such rulings by national higher courts on European Union treaties issued during their processes of ratification.

Using an interdisciplinary Law and Politics approach and a sophisticated methodological strategy, the book describes the political dynamics underlying some of the most relevant judicial episodes in the process of European Integration during the last decades: litigation strategies by Europhile and Eurosceptic actors, relations between the judiciary and the other branches of government, and clashes of power between national courts and the European Court of Justice of the European Union. By offering empirical evidence and by relying on scientific rigor, the book seeks to provide both experts and the general public an accessible account of one of the most salient but least studied aspects of current European law and politics.


"This is a unique example of a masterful combination of legal and political science scholarship on a topic seldom researched in such a comprehensive way. Pablo Castillo constructs a compelling case for interdisciplinary research on courts."— Carlos Closa, European University Institute, Italy

"This book offers a unique analysis of the role played by national Supreme and Constitutional Courts in the process of ratification of European Union treaties. By combining traditional research and empirical data, a deep knowledge of the legal processes and political science’s instruments, this book manages to deliver an excellent piece of scholarship based on sound research and rigorous methodology"—Giuseppe Martinico, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy

Table of Contents

Contents: 1. National Higher Courts and Processes of Ratification of European Union Treaties 2. Constructing a Model of Judicial Behavior. Theoretical Framework 3. EU Primary Law Before the Guardians of the Constitution: Courts’ Decisions On the Merits 4. Kompetenz-Kompetenz: The Doctrine of The Last Say. The Interpretative Decisions of Courts 5. The Legal Dimension: Assessing Judicial Behaviour From the Viewpoint of Legal Rules 6.The Political Dimension: a Pro-ratification Context 7. The Judicial Dimension: Institutional Design and Decisional Dynamics 8. Judicial Behaviour as a Result of Complex Causation: a QCA Approach to the Juridical Dynamics of Treaty Ratification 9. Conclusions and Some Final Reflections

About the Author

Pablo José Castillo Ortiz is Lecturer in Law at The University of Sheffield, UK.

About the Series

Law, Courts and Politics

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville famously noted that "scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question." The importance of courts in settling political questions in areas ranging from health care to immigration shows the continuing astuteness of de Tocqueville’s observation. To understand how courts resolve these important questions, empirical analyses of law, courts and judges, and the politics and policy influence of law and courts have never been more salient or more essential.

Law, Courts and Politics was developed to analyze these critically important questions. This series presents empirically driven manuscripts in the broad field of judicial politics and public law by scholars in law and social science. It uses the most up to date scholarship and seeks an audience of  students, academics, upper division undergraduate and graduate courses in law, political science and sociology as well as anyone interested in learning more about law, courts and politics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Constitutional
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Legislative Branch