Eva Kassoti/Lisa Louwerse
Abstract (Extrait uniquement en anglais)
This contribution explores the question as to whether the CJEU has promoted or, conversely, weakened the coherence of the international legal system through its practice within the broader context of the fragmentation debate. In order to do so, the paper begins by inquiring into the notions of ‘fragmentation’ and ‘coherence’ and argues that the two terms are used to connote a wide array of meanings. Focusing on the judicial aspect, the paper continues by examining the extent to which the CJEU is willing to engage with external sources by directly citing to the jurisprudence of the ICJ in cases involving questions of public international law.
It is demonstrated, that, in its practice, the Court shows a high degree of deference to the authority of the ICJ by routinely having recourse to the latter’s case-law. In this light, the paper puts into question the manner in which the EU courts are often portrayed in the literature: by refusing to make their own bold pronouncements on international law, the EU courts are actually conducive to the coherence of the international legal system. The paper concludes by highlighting that, in order to remain informed and relevant, the fragmentation/coherence debate must also include the ‘trans-judcial communication’ perspective.