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Domestic Courts and the Interpretation of International Law

Methods and Reasoning Based on the Swiss Example

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Odile Ammann

Angela Di Gregorio

This paper analyses the use of the rule-of-law principle in the jurisprudence of the constitutional courts of the new Member States of the European Union. The purpose is to discover whether past or recent decisions could clarify the use of the principle in these countries. An example is the legalistic concept of the rule of law as expressed by the Hungarian and Polish constitutional courts in examining the constitutionality of lustration laws. On the other hand, some constitutional courts (such as the Czech one) have used a wider and more sophisticated application of the rule of law. Considering the severe rule-of-law crisis which has been taking place in Hungary and Poland in recent years, this recognition is particularly important in order to avoid cumulative judgments that could devalue the former communist countries in general, trivializing the harsh path of democratic conditionality with its strengths and weaknesses.

Dovilė Pūraitė-Andrikienė

This article discusses the need, preconditions and possibilities for modifying the constitutionally consolidated regulation whereby the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania gives conclusions on the issues specified in the Constitution while, on the basis of its conclusions, the Seimas takes a final decision; in addition, the discussion looks at other issues that have emerged in the course of the lately adjudicated cases of the type in question and necessitate the modification of the consolidated legal regulation. These issues are examined in the context of powers conferred on constitutional justice institutions in other Central and Eastern European states, with a view to comparing the scope of powers vested with constitutional justice institutions in Lithuania and other states of this region in the area under discussion.

Nina Zafoschnig

This article examines the proposed amendment to the Third Gas Directive, which extends the applicability of the core principles of EU energy legislation to import pipelines from third countries within EU territory. The article describes the potential impacts of this amendment, in particular regarding the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and why this amendment can be considered a “Lex Nord Stream 2”. Furthermore, the article gives an overview of the applicable primary and secondary legislation and core principles of EU energy law.

Max Steuer

The political discourse on regulation of extreme speech in Central Europe has shifted in favor of militant democracy, an approach which supports enhanced criminal law restrictions on speech. Developing the conceptual framework of the consequences of militant democracy and applying legal and parliamentary discourse analysis, this article shows whether and how the legal restrictions on extreme speech adopted in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary fulfilled the purpose for which they were adopted. The juxtaposition of justifications for restrictions and their application by judiciaries uncovers how extreme speech became normalized and appeared in more sophisticated forms due to the failure of legal militant democratic measures. Thus, it highlights how without reflecting the contextual specifics in the respective countries, restrictive legal regulation may not achieve the very purpose it was adopted for.

Paul Gragl

Seeing that a bilateral agreement between the EU and Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is highly unlikely to be concluded due to political considerations, this paper enquires which existing legal regime is applicable to the governing of this pipeline, especially in order to guarantee solidarity and security within the EU energy market through third-party access and unbundling requirements. The question is whether EU law in general (which the Council denies) or international law applies, and if the latter, which specific regime(s): the Energy Charter Treaty, wto law, the law of the sea, or a combination of regimes? Lastly, this paper also investigates whether and to what extent these international law regimes might guarantee the same solidarity and energy security standards as EU law.

Edited by Council of Europe

Special missions play an increasing and crucial role in international diplomacy and yet the international law governing them remains to some extent uncertain. This book is based on the responses of States to the questionnaire of the Council of Europe Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI) on ‘Immunities of special missions’, considered against the background of the 1969 United Nations Convention on Special Missions, key judicial decisions and national legislation on special mission immunity, government statements, and other state practice and evidence of opinio juris. The book presents and analyses the international law and practice governing special missions, while identifying remaining areas of uncertainty.

This volume contains an up-to-date analysis of the law and practice of special missions, based on information from a wide range of States. It aims to provide a practical guide on this issue for governments, judges, practitioners, academics and students alike.

Immunités des missions spéciales
Les missions spéciales jouent un rôle croissant et crucial sur la scène diplomatique internationale et pourtant, le droit international qui les régit reste dans une certaine mesure incertain. Ce livre s’appuie sur les réponses des Etats au questionnaire du Comité des conseillers juridiques sur le droit international public (CAHDI) du Conseil de l'Europe sur les « immunités des missions spéciales », à la lumière de la Convention des Nations Unies sur les missions spéciales de 1969, de la législation nationale et de la jurisprudence sur l'immunité des missions spéciales, des déclarations gouvernementales et d'autres pratiques étatiques et la preuve de l' opinio juris. L’ouvrage présente et analyse le droit international et la pratique régissant les missions spéciales, tout en identifiant les domaines où des incertitudes subsistent.

Ce volume contient une analyse à jour de la législation et de la pratique relatives aux missions spéciales, basée sur des informations provenant de nombreux Etats. Il vise à fournir un guide pratique sur cette question pour les gouvernements, les juges, les praticiens, les universitaires et les étudiants.

Edited by Michael Wood, Andrew Sanger and Council of Europe / Conseil de l’Europe

Edited by Michael Wood, Andrew Sanger and Council of Europe / Conseil de l’Europe

Edited by Michael Wood, Andrew Sanger and Council of Europe / Conseil de l’Europe