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The EU's preliminary reference procedure applies when, in a case before a national court, the judge is faced with a question on the interpretation or validity of EU law that has no straightforward answer. The national court may (and sometimes must) refer this question to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. This ruling will provide binding authority when subsequently the referring national court is to decide the dispute before it.
Preliminary References to the European Court of Justice provides a detailed examination of all relevant aspects relating to a preliminary reference. Structured in such a way so as to reflect the different questions that may arise in a preliminary reference procedure, the book starts by explaining who can make a reference, what questions can be referred, and when a reference can, should, or must be made.
The book then proceeds to provide detailed guidance on the form and contents of the actual reference as well as the procedure both before the referring court and before the European Court of Justice. Finally, the preliminary ruling and its effects are explained together with the questions of costs and legal aid.
Legal practitioners faced with the subtleties of a preliminary reference - be it as judge or advocate - will find this book of considerable value. The book is however much more than an advanced practitioners' guide. Written by authors with backgrounds in academia and practice the practical guidance is supplemented by critical analysis of the Court of Justice's practice, and the book is extensively referenced throughout with all the most relevant sources reproduced in the annexes.