The German Verfassungsgericht is Europe’s most powerful court, but even it has limits
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Germany’s top judges have warned in a landmark case that they will not tolerate any measure or legal finding from the European Union that clashes with the higher principles of the German Basic Law, but have retreated on a crucial point, implicitly bowing to EU primacy.
The ruling by the German constitutional court in Karlsruhe reiterates a long-standing position that Germany does not accept claims of judicial supremacy by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). But the wording is weaker than its explosive ruling on Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and marks a climb-down.
“The court has asserted its residual right to review EU law but in practice it has submitted,” said Gunnar Beck, a constitutional lawyer at the University of London, SOAS.