Step 4. Case-law of the European Court of Justice

EU law contains many compromise texts, filled with broad clauses or general principles that may require further clarification in order to be implemented. Now imagine if EU law was interpreted independently by national courts. This would result in many contradicting interpretations of the same rules in different Member States. To prevent this from happening, the EU Treaties established the European Court of Justice, also called the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) acts as a constitutional court when deciding on disputes between EU institutions are before it or legislative instruments are up for review for legality. ECJ interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all EU countries. It can determine whether a Member State has fulfilled its obligations under EU law. The Court also acts as a civil court when hearing claims for damages or interpreting the provisions on the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

Now watch this video about the ECJ.