When Worlds Collide: the CJEU and International Law

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When Worlds Collide: the CJEU and International Law

This article traces the trajectory of the CJEU’s approach to international law over the years, with a focus on its case-law following the significant Treaty changes made in 2009 by the Lisbon Treaty, strengthening the special status given to international law by the EU legal order. It argues that, following the CJEU’s Kadi judgment – in which it famously held that, in case of conflict between EU fundamental rights and international law, the EU legal order must prevail – the CJEU has now entered a “post-Kadi” phrase characterized by a re-emphasis on its firm belief in international law. The article argues that the CJEU’s post-Kadi approach is supported by the Lisbon Treaty’s changes but also, as discussed below, raises potential questions as to which court should be the ultimate arbiter of the requirements of international law.