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Room Change to Pound 332 – Reason and Authority in the European Court of Justice: A Lecture & Discussion led by Prof. V. Perju (Boston College Law School)


Harvard European Law Association
invites you to a talk entitled
Reason and Authority in the European Court of Justice

Professor Vlad Perju, Boston College, Law School

Thai lunch will be served!
Thursday, February 19. at 12.00, Pound 332

The European Court of Justice has long been criticized for its short judgments not explaining in enough detail the reasons for its decisions, particularly in comparison to the US Supreme Court. Come join the debate with prof. Vlad Perju, SJD ’07, who argues for a discursive turn in the ECJ’s legal reasoning. The argument addresses fundamental questions of judicial discourse, legal reasoning and legitimacy.

No prior reading is necessary, however, for those interested, the paper is available on SSRN

Citation:Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2009

Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 170

This Article makes the case for a discursive turn in European law. Contrary to the prevailing view, politicizing the judicial discourse of the European Court of Justice would strengthen, more than undermine, the Court’s authority. This argument is made with reference to the ECJ’s reason giving practice, specifically to the relation between the form and content of its decisions. Allowing its members to write separate opinions will enable the Court to redefine its role on the European institutional and political stages The Article then answers doctrinal, institutional and juriscultural objections to its central thesis.

De Burca, Neuman & Halberstam on EU & the Kadi Decision (Terrorist Asset Freezing)


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Austria and Belgium at war with the European Court of Justice – Room Change – Pound 203


Harvard European Law Association

Working Papers Series Graduate Seminar

Austria and Belgium at war with the European Court of Justice

Wednesday, November 12th, 12 – 1 p.m.


*** Refreshments will be served! ***

Feel Free to Bring Your Own Lunch

Visiting Researcher Sacha Garben from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) will present the controversial Education judgments of the European Court and their aftermath


The European Court of Justice currently finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Three years ago, the ECJ handed down two controversial judgments against Austria and Belgium, condemning the two countries for restricting access to their university system of foreign EU students. The judgments caused political outrage, especially in Austria, with high-up political figures aggressively attacking the Court. Both Belgium and Austria blatantly disregarded the ruling, which led the European Commission to prosecute them for their disobedience. However, in an exceptional way Austria used the Lisbon Treaty negotiations to wheedle a promise from the Commission that no action would be taken for a period of five years. As could be expected, the litigious students of Europe almost instantly brought a case, which is now before the ECJ. (How) will the saga end?


If you like, you can take a look at the judgments (C-65/03 and C-147/03) at

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