Carl Otto Lenz


This Article examines the preliminary ruling procedure, by far the most important procedure for legal practitioners and courts. Because Community law, by reason of its supremacy and direct effect, impacts relationships between individuals, Member State courts are asking the Court to decide Community law questions more frequently. Although the law to be applied in these cases is the same in all Member States, there is a potential danger to the functioning of the EC legal system as a whole if the law is not applied uniformly in the Member States. The founding fathers of the Community averted this situation by conferring upon the Court of Justice a monopoly of interpretation on questions of Community law.