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Is International Law really law or not?

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What is “law”? Must it be rules written down? Can it be general principles? What about case law? Must “law” be enforceable? It seems that to say international law is not really law is too simplistic a view to take. There is no specific full list of what exactly is constituted within international law, and states can and do breach international law, but this is not to say that it is not an effective process, even if it may not be as black and white, or obviously “law”, as the domestic laws of individual states.  The International Court of Justice considers a number of “sources” of international law when deciding a case, as listed in Article 38 of its statute: Conventions (i.e. treaties), Custom, General principles, Judicial decisions, Academic writing. This is not a complete list of the sources of international law as Article 38 is simply a direction to the International Court of Justice(ICJ), which does not in itself represent the totality of international law, and is not meant

A discussion on how the EU still suffers from a democratic deficit despite the increased involvement of the European Parliament in the legislative process.

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‘Democracy suggests that citizens should have a real say in govt policy and a real influence on the most’ important decisions, and the European Parliament (EP) is supposed to provide the democratic element in the EU system by representing the citizens of the EU, but whilst the EP is selected by the citizens of Europe, this is only one EU institution and one source of legitimacy.  The ordinary legislative procedure, used to adopt most Union legislation and seen in Article 294 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, increases the power of the European Parliament, thereby arguably improving the democratic deficit. The European Parliament is now seen on the same footing as the Council and the European Parliament now has the power to prevent a proposal from being adopted. This seems to be an improvement in terms of legitimacy and democracy because there will be direct involvement of citizens through the EP and because the EP has the power to prevent adoption of a proposal.

What is direct effect? Explain its limitations and discuss what measures were taken to correct those limitations.

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According to ordinary international law principles, treaties are only binding on the states which are party to the agreement. Therefore, a law student may be forgiven for assuming that the authors of the EC Treaty intended that directives bind MS as to outcome, requiring implementation in national law by the national legislature. Nevertheless, the ECJ has been able to divine a more surprising intention. That directives might have direct effect was first recognised in Van Duyn 1  as otherwise the effectiveness of EU law would be undermined. Later cases ( Ratti 2 ) have also adopted an estoppel argument, reasoning that the state should not be able to rely on its failure to implement a directive (or implement it correctly) as a reason for its breach of EU law. The limits to directives are that unlike regulations, they might only have direct effect after the date of implementation has passed and only in vertical situations i.e. against MS, not individuals ( Faccini Dori 3 ). Yet the Court

“Dicey’s classical definition of the rule of law is now irrelevant.” Discuss.

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‘The Rule of Law’ was first popularised by Dicey and encompasses primarily a range of basic principles and values which taken together give stability, rationality and consistency to the rule of those with legal power, thereby ensuring that the government only exercises its power in accordance with the law. However, there is a divergence between those such as Dicey who interpret a formal conception of the Rule of Law as a procedural device addressing the manner in which the law was promulgated and the clarity of the subsequent legislation, and those who espouse a substantive conception which in addition passes judgment on the content of the law. Through the case law, it is evident that although Dicey’s classical definition is certainly not irrelevant, the courts have enforced a broader concept of the Rule of Law consisting of formal and substantive values, which is desirable in that it enables a more sufficient protection of citizens’ rights against arbitrary government action.  As a mi