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Direct effect, consistent interpretation and state liability are instruments developed by the CJEU for national courts to remedy conflicts between national and EU law (and may also be used in some jurisdictions to resolve national law and international law). This book will look at the ‘remedial capacity’ of these doctrines/tools from the perspective of the national court applying them. In short: what are there strengths, weaknesses, unexplored opportunities at grassroot level, and what can we learn from comparative experience in practice within Member States.
The study reveals considerable differences in the way these doctrines are handled at national level. And it is clear that these differences go beyond the challenges facing newly joined Member States where the judiciary might be expected to still be learning its way with EU law. Even within long standing EU Members there is by no means a consistency in approach. The judiciary handling environmental cases have recently established an informal cooperative network to learn from each other. We may be some years away from a time when national courts are regularly referred to not only to decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, but also to cases from other EU national courts to assist them in their decision-making. But if this study, which we believe to the first of its kind in this field, helps to stimulate that process, the handling of environmental law within the EU can only be improved.