Document Type


Citation Information

Please cite to the original publication


Professor Walter Hallstein, President of the Commission of the European Economic Community, has said that the Court of Justice of the European Communities finds perhaps its nearest parallel in the Supreme Court of the United States.1 Certainly, there are similarities between them. Both are in some sense arbiters of the balance of power in a two-tier governmental structure. Both are guardians of constituent documents and exercise some type of constitutional jurisdiction. Both are courts of law whose decisions often have strong political overtones. However, to point to the United States Supreme Court as the nearest parallel of the Court of Justice of the European Communities is not necessarily to say that the "nearest" is very near. Moreover, it is not the purpose of this paper to investigate fully the extent to which this comparison is, or was meant to be, a useful analytical tool. What is intended is a discussion of that jurisdiction of the European Court which seems to have the greatest significance to its development as a court exercising federal constitutional control. In this inquiry the Supreme Court of the United States may be used as a point of reference, but its use is suggested at least as much by its familiarity as by its comparability. Indeed, one must begin by attempting to justify looking at the Court of Justice of the European Communities as in any respect similar to a federal, constitutional court.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons