Review of Kieran Bradley, Noel Travers, and Anthony Whelan (eds), Of Courts and Constitutions – LIber Amicorium in Honour of Nial Fennelly
As we entered the twenty-first century questions were asked about the traditional Westphalian concept of sovereignty as part of the construction of a more coordinated international response to various humanitarian crises. The resulting World Summit Outcome document recognised that sovereignty carried responsibilities and that if a state was unwilling (or unable) to meet those responsibilities then the international community could intervene. With the implementation of this principle (the responsibility to protect) the focus has shifted from respecting sovereignty to safeguarding the victims of the various crimes falling within the scope of the principle thus adding a new dimension to international law.
Sovereignty is deeply contested but omnipresent. The aim of this paper is not to offer a definitive conception of this multifacteted notion. It will rather identify three different dimensions that play a role in our understanding of sovereignty and use these as a basis to explain one particular aspect that has been underexplored in the academic debate: the link between internal and external sovereignty.
In her view on the Pringle case, Advocate General Kokott unfolded an interesting analysis with regard to the scope of Article 125 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the no bail-out clause. In order to sustain her argument that this provision did not preclude the euro states from concluding the Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism (the ESM-Treaty), Kokott linked three principles: national sovereignty, stability and solidarity.
In the context of the Eurozone crisis, few countries have experienced the changing nature of sovereignty more acutely than Ireland. But these acute transformations should not obscure for us how, in the context of European integration over the last half-century, the transformation of sovereignty has also been a chronic phenomenon. This process began well before Ireland’s accession in 1973 and has certainly continued ever since. This paper asserts that the changing nature of national sovereignty in relation to European integration is in fact a ‘new dimension to an old problem’, albeit one with a peculiar, supranational dimension.
2013 marked the fourtieth anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the European Union and is also the year Ireland exited the Troika bail-out programme. The presence of the Troika generated considerable debate around the nature of Irish Sovereignty, drawing attention to the extent of economic interdependence. These debates prompted a conference where speakers could reflect on the nature of sovereignty. The four articles in this special volume were some of those presented that day.
Welcome to the Irish Journal of European Law (IJEL)’s Special Volume – Changing Sovereignty in Europe – with Guest Editorial by Imelda Maher
Table of Contents