Ole DueFollow


The Intergovernmental Conference leading up to the adoption of the Maastricht Treaty was probably the first during which the case law of the Court of Justice formed a topic of discussion. The result of this discussion was certainly positive in relation to the new Treaty's general rules. But, clearly, criticism had also been voiced during the discussion. This criticism can be seen from two protocols to the Treaty, both drawn up as unfortunate reactions to specific rulings. It is important that the establishment of a closer cooperation between some Member States does not permit them to escape from the rules of jurisdiction applicable in the area in question and that decisions on the establishment of and accession to such closer cooperation are subject to the rules of jurisdiction of the EC Treaty. The extension of the Court's jurisdiction to areas outside the Community Treaties is certainly an achievement, and it is important that this extension also applies to conventions, where the question until now has created great difficulties. The mere complexity of the provisions and the many limitations of access to the Court, however, greatly reduce its practical importance. On the other hand, the system is sufficiently flexible to permit the Member States and their courts to remedy some of the deficiencies. In the perspective of a gradual development of the judicial system of the Union, the rules of the Draft Treaty concerning the jurisdiction of the Community Courts appear, in their entirety, to constitute an acceptable result of considerable efforts on the part of the Conference.