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CONSTITUTIONAL ‘TRINITY’ FOR AN EU MEMBER STATE STOPS AT THE GATES OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY

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Author(s): Mart Susi

Journal: Journal of Comparative Politics
ISSN 1337-7477

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: compliance | European Court of Human Rights | national sovereignty | international adjudication | national court

ABSTRACT
This article will focus on the relationship on treaty interpretation between constitutional courts and the international courts established by the respective treaty. Acceptance of the European Court of Justice’s and European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence on the domestic level has two main aspects. From one side, both courts have assumed almost absolute authority in treaty interpretation and require that member states follow their case-law principles ‘hard compliance’. From the other side, there is some flexibility which the European courts are willing to give to the member states in complying with individual judgments ‘soft compliance’. The Estonian Supreme Court is not in a dialogue with the European courts. It sometimes credits the ECtHR with positions it does not have and has found in the jurisprudence of the European courts an instrument which can be used quite flexibly to substantiate its conclusions with a referral to an ‘outside higher authority’.
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