Preliminary Reference on Validity and the National Court: What Contribution to the Rule of Law and Effective Judicial Protection in the EU? A Focus on the French Administrative Judge
Keywords:preliminary ruling in validity, national judge, French administrative judge, acte clair, case law, European Court of Justice, Conseil d’Etat
While the cases of preliminary ruling on validity are not numerous before the European Court of Justice, particularly in comparison with the preliminary ruling on interpretation, this mechanism plays an essential role in promoting the legality of the European legal order. Since direct access to the courts is ultimately very restrictive for individual claimants, indirect access to the Union courts is an essential means of ensuring that Union norms are subject to judicial review. However, because of the conditions set up for its implementation, the national judge has a certain margin of appreciation, and in the end, as the analysis of the practice of the French administrative judge shows, the hypotheses for triggering a valid preliminary ruling remain limited. However, this does not mean that the national court is resisting, as this practice can be part of a dialogue between judges. However, it leads us to put into perspective the capacity of the preliminary ruling on validity to compensate for the very limited access to actions for annulment before the European Court of Justice.