A tremendous start to the ISEL seminar season

Dr Steven Truxal – steven.truxal.1@city.ac.uk

On 16th October 2013, the Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL) convened its first event in the 2013—2014 seminar season.

Two distinguished scholars joined us, one from academia and the other from practice, to share their research and experience with pressing issues in the EU ‘lawspace’

Maya Lester

Maya Lester

First up was Ms Maya Lester of Brick Court Chambers, London. Maya is a City University alumna, having taken a First on our GDL course before continuing onto the Bar Vocational Course. She has also studied at Clare College, Cambridge; Yale Law School and Columbia Law School. Maya was called to the bar in 2000.

Maya is regularly involved in high-profile cases relating to sanctions brought before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg. She joined us to discuss her experience, giving detail of the sanctions process and explaining issues in the extensive litigation that typically ensues.

She told us that over the last decade or so, the EU has become a significant global actor in imposing ‘smart’ sanctions, targeted at individuals and entities.  Some of these sanctions regimes are part of the EU’s counter-terrorism policy and others are inspired by a range of foreign policy goals, such as pressurising regimes, countering nuclear proliferation and returning misappropriated State funds. They are sometimes linked to action by the UN Security Council, but the EU also adopts many ‘autonomous’ sanctions. Maya discussed how the EU’s policies in this field have raised problems. For more information, one may visit Maya’s blog on the subject.

Dr Alina Tryfonidou

Dr Alina Tryfonidou

Dr Alina Tryfonidou of University of Reading was up next. Alina’s talk was entitled, ‘The Federal Implications of the economic rights of Union citizens’. She explained that the process that began in the 1970s, with respect to the free movement provisions of the Treaty, meant those freedoms were metamorphosed from provisions which merely allowed certain (instrumental) freedoms to Member State nationals in furtherance of the internal market aims of the Treaty, into Treaty Articles that granted a number of economic rights to Member State nationals.  This process, she argued, was further bolstered and – to a certain extent legitimised – with the introduction of the status of Union citizenship in 1993 and the consequent transformation of the (economic) free movement provisions of the Treaty into sources of (cross-border) economic rights for all Union citizens. 

Alina discussed the process of ‘reconceptualising’ the (economic) free movement provisions as sources of economic rights and explained the federal implications of the ‘reconceptualisation’ of the (economic) free movement provisions as economic rights for Union citizens with support from a number of case studies. 

Alina concluded with a focus on the dilemmas that the Court has faced – and is still facing – when attempting to reconcile the nature of the (economic) free movement provisions as the source of autonomous and meaningful economic rights for EU citizens, as well as the need to achieve an appropriate balance between EU and Member State powers in the area of the internal market. For more information, please contact a.tryfonidou@reading.ac.uk.

I am most grateful to both speakers for engaging us with their excellent talks, and to Sarah Gale and Peter Aggar for their organisational assistance, too.

 

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