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PhD. Topics

Institute of State and Law

The principle of the rule of law in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) case-law
PhD. program
Name of the supervisor
Doc. JUDr. Milan Hodás, PhD.
Receiving school
Právnická fakulta UK
The principle of the rule of law is one of the fundamental values of the European Union within the meaning of the Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (hereinafter referred to as “TEU”). However, Article 2 stands for more than just an abstract statement - it represents a portion of the accession (Copenhagen) criteria and forms a source of binding obligations on the Member States to uphold the values of the Union and thus, the rule of law. Although the concept of rule of law has not been yet strictly defined, it is considered to be a long-established framework within the European Union and represents a stable principle whose observance may be objectively assessed and any shortcomings reliably identified.
The former monitoring mechanism of compliance with the values was laid down in Article 7 TEU, which, by its very nature, presupposes a political decision. Taking into account the aforementioned, it has been possible to register the Commission’s increased initiative to strengthen the protection of the rule of law also with the assistance of other Union instruments. This may be observed in upward trend of progressive judicialisation of Article 7 mechanism through preliminary ruling and infringement procedure according to 258-260 TFEU before the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter only as ”CJEU”). The involvement of the CJEU, given its political independence, opens the door to a greater degree of procedural flexibility, yet raises a question to what extent is this judicial activism desirable among the Member States.
The aim of the thesis is therefore to both analyse the relevant case law of the CJEU, to evaluate the effectiveness of the enforceability of the rule of law through the judicial approach, but also, by making use of the relevant case law of the European decision making bodies, to enrich the discussion with further recommendations for a practical application of the rule of law principle, with a particular emphasis on the V4 countries.
Research thesis: Analysis of the effectiveness of the procedure before the CJEU as an alternative to the mechanism provided by Article 7 TEU. Demarcation of the proportional involvement of the CJEU in the evaluation of the application of the rule of law, in the contrast to the sovereignty of Member States.