Judicial Dynamics and Legal Change Beyond Lisbon

Posted on Tuesday 2nd December 2008

The Institute of European Law Annual Lecture 2009

On 1 December 2008 the Institute welcomed Professor Damian Chalmers to deliver the Institute of European Law Annual Lecture 2009.

Photo of Professor Damian Chalmers and Professor Martin Trybus

The lecture, delivered to an audience of over 200 staff and students, addressed a perennial subject of debate:  which changes the direction of EU law most - grand intergovernmental bargains or the daily practice of EU law?

A paradox of the Lisbon Treaty is that it is a treaty about institutional reform but the largely successful institutional adaptation to the 2004 and 2007 enlargements suggest its legislative impact may be marginal. In contrast, the last four years have seen a shift in both the balance of the Court's activity and its 'grand arrets' away from the single market to that of the area of the freedom, security and justice. This has taken it, for the first time, into the very heartlands of national systems of administration of justice. For it is in criminal law, civil liberties and immigration law where most national judicial activity is focused, and the central icons and sensitivities of national legal systems reside. This venture will, this lecture suggests, radically transform both the Court and the very nature of EU law itself.

Damian Chalmers is Professor of European Union Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is author with Cristos Hadjiemmannuil, Giorgio Monti & Adam Tomkins of European Union Law (2006, CUP). He has previously held posts at the University of Liverpool and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He is also a Jean Monnet Chair and editor of the European Law Review and EU Jurist. He has held visiting posts at the College of Europe, Instituto de Empresa, and the National University of Singapore.

The Institute of European Law Annual Lecture 2008 continued a tradition of annual lectures which brought such distinguished visitors as Sir David Edward and Sir Konrad Schiermann, Gisela Stuart, Hon Mr Justice Elias, Judge Nicholas Forwood, Sir Christopher Bellamy, and Piet Eeckhout to Birmingham.