The EU and the Rule of Law – What next?

Date and Time: 4th December at 1.00pm

Venue: Room AG05, College Building.

We are delighted to welcome Professor Laurent Pech to speak on the future of the rule of law in the EU at the next CLS research seminar.


According to the EU Treaties, the rule of law is both a principle on which the EU and its Member States are based (Art. 2 TEU) and one which the EU must uphold and promote in its relations with the wider world (Art. 3(5) TEU). Two main issues will be briefly addressed as regards the internal dimension of the rule of law: The absence of any Treaty provision explaining what this principle precisely entails and the presence of a Treaty provision which establishes a prevention mechanism in the event of a risk of a breach of the EU’s foundational values by a Member State, and a penalty mechanism in the event of an actual breach. EU’s reliance on the rule of law as an accession benchmark and the external instruments by which the EU seeks to promote the rule of law abroad will also be briefly reviewed. Finally, the rather radical reform proposals put recently forward by the EU Commission to confront domestic ‘rule-of-law crises’ will be considered.

About the Speaker

Laurent Pech is Professor of European Law and Head of the Law Department at Middlesex University London. He is also a Visiting Professor of Law at Bordeaux University and at Aix-Marseille University. Prior to his appointment at Middlesex University, Prof. Pech worked at the National University of Ireland Galway where he held the Jean Monnet Chair of EU Public Law. During the course of his career, he also worked as a legal consultant in several Eastern European countries either on behalf of the Council of Europe or in the context of EU-funded assistance programmes.

Selected Publication

  • ‘Promoting The Rule of Law Abroad: On the EU’s limited contribution to the shaping of an international understanding of the rule of law” in F. Amtenbrink and D. Kochenov (eds), The EU’s Shaping of the International Legal Order (CUP, 2013)
  • The Rule of Law as a Guiding Principle of EU’s External Action, CLEER Working Paper 2012/3, 57p
  • ‘A Union Founded on the Rule of Law: Meaning and Reality of the Rule of Law as a Constitutional Principle of EU Law’ (2010) 6 European Constitutional Law Review 359

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