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School of Law

What Is Going on with the Rule of Law? An Appraisal of the Legal Framework for Safeguarding the “Rule of Law” within the European Union

11 May 2016

Time: 12:00 - 2:00pm
Venue: Room 313, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS United Kingdom

Hosted by the Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA).


What is going on with the rule of law at the EU level?’ is the question posed by this paper. The rule of law is a founding EU principle according to Article 2 TEU and binds all actors that partake in European integration. Yet, compliance to the rule of law by the Member States has been recently questioned. Phenomena of non-compliance involve systemic threats to the rule of law and more generally, EU values. Such threats and the EU sanctions available to counter them have set the backdrop to a rule of law ‘deficit’ discourse. Conversely, there is less discussion about non-compliance of the EU Institutions to the rule of law and how it triggers reaction at the national level. Instead, legal scholarship has isolated recurrent EU intrinsic deficiencies which threaten the rule of law in the EU, namely the (occasional) EU legislative and judicial arbitrariness. Taking stock of the above factors, this paper will provide an overview of the current state of play with regard to the protection of the rule of law at both the EU and the national level. It will highlight its deficiencies from different points of the spectrum and critique the practical significance of the monitoring instruments available for its protection.

About the Speaker

Theodore Konstadinides

Dr Theodore Konstadinides is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Surrey and Visiting Scholar at QMUL. His research and teaching interests lie broadly in the field of European constitutional law. He has written on a number of issues, including EU competence delimitation, EU international relations, and judicial protection in criminal matters.

Theodore has previously taught at University College London and has been a visiting lecturer at various European universities such as Stockholm, Uppsala, Vrije Amsterdam and a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London. He has regularly been invited to act as expert for external academic institutions and policy-makers. He has advised the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons and has acted consultant for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the Government's Balance of Competence Review (2012-14). He has also undertaken research funded by the Legal Research Programme of the European Central Bank on his project entitled ‘The Constitutional Identity of EU Member States as a Limit to the Transfer of Sovereign Powers to the EU’.

His presentation on the rule of law within the EU forms part of his current book project which will be published by Hart Publishing in 2016.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

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