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Administrative Courts in Europe: Common Trends and Requirements

Language
English
Pages
47
2018 / Vol. 30, No. 3, (109)
Digital Edition

Administrative Courts in Europe: Common Trends and Requirements

Giacinto della Cananea

Professor of law, Bocconi University (Milan);
principal investigator, ERC research project on the “Common core of European administrative laws”
(advanced grant n. 694697-COCEAL). Former vice-president, governing board of the Italian Court of Auditors

This article focuses on administrative courts in Europe. It has three main themes. First, there is a retrospective, which serves to seek to understand why some courts deeply involved in the business of government have failed somewhere, while other courts have succeeded elsewhere. Second, the paper considers current trends in Europe. It distinguishes two variants of specialization, based on administrative courts and specialized panels within civil courts, respectively. Thirdly, the article considers the balance between judicial independence and accountability. This implies, on the one hand, some essential requirements, including the guarantees of judicial independence, a legal basis for the exercise of authority over individuals and firms and certain standards of procedural due process of law. Arguably, national governments have some margins of manoeuvre in the interpretation of such requirements, but their essential content (or noyeau dur) cannot be infringed. On the other hand, accountability must be ensured. In particular, supervision by mixed judicial councils is to be preferred to self-regulation by judges, and judicial performance must be assessed.

Cet article se concentre sur les tribunaux administratifs en Europe. Il s’articule autour de trois thèmes principaux. Premièrement, une rétrospective permet de comprendre pourquoi certains tribunaux très concernés par les affaires du gouvernement ont échoué là où d'autres ont réussi. Deuxièmement, l’article examine les tendances actuelles en Europe. Il distingue deux variantes de la spécialisation, basées respectivement sur les tribunaux administratifs et les chambres spécialisées au sein des tribunaux civils. Troisièmement, l’article examine l’équilibre entre indépendance et responsabilité judiciaire. Cela implique, d’une part, certaines exigences essentielles, y compris les garanties de l’indépendance judiciaire, une base juridique pour l’exercice de l’autorité sur les individus et les entreprises et certaines normes d’application régulière de la loi en matière de procédure. Sans doute les gouvernements nationaux disposent-ils d’une certaine marge de manœuvre dans l’interprétation de ces exigences, mais leur contenu essentiel (ou noyau dur) ne peut être violé. D’autre part, la responsabilité doit être assurée. En particulier, la supervision par des conseils judiciaires mixtes est préférable à l’autoréglementation par les juges, et le rendement des juges doit être évalué.

* Paper presented at the comparative workshop organized by the Faculty of social sciences, Budapest, 20 September 2018. I am grateful to Mario P. Chiti and Paul Craig for their comments on the structure of the argument presented in the workshop, as well as to Spyridon Flogaitis and the others who participated in it for their helpful remarks on national judicial institutions. The usual disclaimer applies.

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