Workshop (30.06.2021, 14:00 – 18:00 CEST)


Workshop leader: Sofiya Kartalova, LL.M.


1. Abstract

This workshop will present the strategic treatment of ambiguity as an ingenious technique in the arsenal of the CJEU (and possibly of the EU legislator) for dealing with contentious issues of tremendous constitutional significance for the EU legal order. A selection of two case studies (Melloni Case C 399/11 and Åkerberg Fransson Case C‑617/10) will demonstrate how the CJEU strategically resolves ambiguity found in the EU Treaty text or strategically produces ambiguity on the pages of its preliminary ruling, in order to ensure the implementation of the authority of EU law. Each of the case studies features a detailed linguistic and legal analysis of the relevant sample of ambiguity, with one of the case studies making use of multilingual analysis to provide evidence of ambiguity. The results of the investigation invite a reassessment of the circumstances surrounding the Court’s choice of interpretation as well as the distribution of responsibility between the EU legislator and the CJEU when it comes to the expansion of EU competences. The two case studies also illustrate the EU legislator’s complex relationship with ambiguity with respect to the drafting of key EU Treaty provisions. Does the EU legislator necessarily perceive ambiguity as a defect in the legal text in need of eradication or perhaps as a strategic opportunity for evading the conclusive resolution of challenging constitutional dilemmas?


2. Time schedule

14:00 – 15:00 CEST
Module 1: Melloni and the CJEU’s strategic resolution of ambiguity

[+ 30’ break]

15:30 – 16:30 CEST
Module 2: Åkerberg Fransson and the CJEU’s strategic production of ambiguity

[+ 30’ break]

17:00 – 18:00 CEST
Module 3: The EU legislator’s complex relationship with ambiguity in Melloni and Åkerberg Fransson. Concluding remarks


3. Format

Online. Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Each of the three modules listed above includes a combination of the following modes of interaction: lecture format, open floor discussion, small group discussion.


4. Recommended literature

Case C-399/11, Stefano Melloni v. Ministerio Fiscal, Judgment of 26 February 2013. ECLI:EU:C:2013:107.

Case C-617/10, Åklagaren v Hans Åkerberg Fransson, Judgment of 26 February 2013, ECLI:EU:C:2013:105.