Dimitry Kochenov, Gráinne de Búrca and Andrew Williams (eds.)

Europe's Justice Deficit?

Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015, xxxix + 468pp.
"The question of the EU's justice deficit could not be of greater relevance. Both scholars and politicians have often argued that the economic and other benefits of the EU compensate for any democratic failings. Yet, as the eurocrisis renders these benefits less apparent, it becomes more appropriate than ever to ask whether it distributes them and any accompanying costs in a just way. The responses of the contributors to this volume prove as disturbing as they are informative."
Professor Richard Bellamy, Director of the Max Weber Programme, European University Institute, Florence
"This is a remarkable volume which addresses a long-neglected question about the EU: situated between integration through market freedoms and an emerging constitutional project, how does the EU contribute to the achievement of justice? A set of lively, engaged and scholarly contributions which extend the boundaries of the debate. A must-read for all interested in European Studies."
Professor Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University
"The list of authors reads like a veritable "Who's Who of European studies"... The outcome is fascinating, enormously rich and diverse (with the authors occasionally disagreeing with each other) - just as Europe is. Once you have read it, you realize what an important void it has filled. It opens up a new, fresh perspective within the European studies, and I can safely predict that it will become a canon, by reference to which we will be discussing "justice in/of Europe" in the years to come."
Wojciech Sadurski, Challis Professor of Jurisprudence, The University of Sydney Faculty of Law
"By arranging a multi-disciplinary discussion about justice in the EU "as a flow of ideas" this most engaging book offers a gripping account of justice as the proverbial contested concept... The editors have succeeded in bringing together a group of feisty scholars keen to present their rather diverse, and at times even exclusive, take on the meaning of justice...A must read for all interested in justice, nothwithstanding their own disciplinary home."
Prof Antje Wiener, Chair in Political Science, especially Global Governance, University of Hamburg
The gradual legal and political evolution of the European Union has not, thus far, been accompanied by the articulation or embrace of any substantive ideal of justice going beyond the founders' intent or the economic objectives of the market integration project. This absence arguably compromises the foundations of the EU legal and political system, since the relationship between law and justice - a crucial question within any constitutional system - remains largely unaddressed. This book brings together a number of contributions by leading academics and young scholars whose work addresses both the legal and philosophical aspects of justice in the European context. The book appraises the existence and nature of this deficit, along with its implications for Europe's future. There have been many accounts of the EU as a story of constitutional evolution and a system of transnational governance, but few which pay sustained attention to the implications for justice. The EU today has moved beyond its initial and primary emphasis on the establishment of an internal market, as the growing importance of EU citizenship and social rights suggests. Yet, most legal analyses of the EU treaties and of EU case law remain premised broadly on the assumption that EU law still largely serves the purpose of perfecting what is fundamentally a system of economic integration. The place to be occupied by the underlying substantive ideal of justice remains significantly underspecified, or even vacant, creating a tension between the market-oriented foundation of the EU and the contemporary essence of its constitutional system. The relationship of law to justice is a core dimension of constitutional systems around the world, and the EU is arguably no different in this respect. The critical assessment of justice in the EU provided by the book's contributions will help to create a fuller picture of the justice deficit in the EU, and, at the same time, open up an important new avenue of legal research of immediate importance.

The origins of this book are in an exchange among a handful of leading lawyers and political scientists about the (un)just nature of the EU. For an almost verbatim report, please have a look at this paper: Gráinne de Búrca, Dimitry Kochenov and Andrew Williams (eds.), 'Debating Europe's Justice Deficit: The EU, Swabian Housewives, Rawls and Ryanair', EUI Working Papers LAW 2013/11, 67pp [ssrn].
The book was officially launched by a debate between Prof Christian Joerges and Justice Giuliano Amato of the Constitutional Court of Italy, former Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, at the London School of Economics and Political Science in June 2015. The two contributions to the debate, as well as a handful of responses, are available on the Verfassungsblog's 'Europe's Justice Deficit Debate'.
© PHOTOS BY YAN LEDER