Author: Vladislav Tolstykh
Keywords: customs law; Eurasian integration; international courts; international law
This article is an overview of political and technical problems arising from the activity of the EAEU Court. The main political problem is the predisposition of the Court in favor of the Commission and the states. It is not a question of bias or other malicious intent, but of the line of conduct chosen by the Court. This line of conduct is considered by the Court as appropriate and conforming to the law, but when placed under scrutiny it is characterized by a certain level of selectivity. Particular manifestations of this problem are the lack of a descriptive part in some decisions, dictated by the Court’s desire to reduce the actual conflict to an abstract issue, and the practice of accepting the withdrawals of the requests for interpretation at the last stages of the process. Among the technical problems are the defects in reasoning (deviations from the rules of formal logic, arbitrary use of methods of interpretation, non-use of modern methods of grammatical interpretation, failure to balance the ascending and descending arguments, and giving excessive weight to the practice of other international courts) and linguistic defects (complex and illiterate formulations, tautologies, etc.). A particular technical problem is the irrelevance of dissenting opinions, which opinions could be used as a platform for articulating purely theoretical concepts, proposals de lege ferenda, a war of words with other judges, and sophistical exercises. These problems hinder the implementation of the Court’s function and deprive it of the opportunity to seriously influence the development of the EAEU law. The main conclusion is that the general line of conduct of the Court, characterized by caution, predictability, and creative passivity, does not correspond to the requirements of the development of the legal system of the EAEU.
About the author: Vladislav Tolstykh – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Head of the International Law Department, Novosibirsk State University; Senior Researcher, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia.
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