Author: Ekaterina Diyachenko
Keywords: European Court of Justice; literal interpretation; methods of interpretation; systematic interpretation; teleological interpretation; the Court of the EAEU; travaux préparatoires
Interpretation of legal norms is the main function of judicial bodies and the effectiveness of justice ultimately depends on the courts’ ability to interpret the law. For the courts of integration unions the process of interpretation is of particular importance as the legal provisions of their legal order are applied not only by supranational institutions but also by bodies of the member-states which means that the interpretation of the legal provisions given by such a court will become part of the national systems. In this situation the key objective of an integration union’s court becomes formulating universal legal positions not only in the framework of controlling the legality of legal provisions in abstracto but also while considering individual cases. As the case-law of international courts demonstrates the methods of interpretation they use often determine the legal approaches that have been set in the corresponding fields. The methods of interpretation are inextricably linked to the choice of an activist approach by the court or its adherence to the principle of self-restraint. This is demonstrated by the fact that the majority of innovative rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union was based on teleological interpretation. In the present article the author analyses the common approaches to interpretation which allows him to make a conclusion regarding the inextricable link between interpretation and the application of law and suggests that it would be useful for the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union to establish in its case-law the principles of interpretation national courts should follow while applying Union law. The analysis of specific methods of interpretation applied by the Eurasian Economic Union Court is conducted following their classification into two categories: traditional methods of interpretation including grammatical, logical, systematic and teleological interpretation, and methods those that are not common to classical international courts but are unique to the courts of integration unions. In the last category interpretation in the light of legal and, above all, constitutional traditions common to the member-states plays an essential role.
About the author: Ekaterina Diyachenko – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Counsellor to a judge, Eurasian Economic Union Court, Minsk, Belarus.
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