Access to Justice After Lisbon: Slowly Getting to Where You Didn’t Want to Be

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This contribution aims to illustrate the coming to pass of one of Prof. Gormley’s predictions. The Treaty of Lisbon brought about the first substantial change in the action for annulment in Article 263 TFEU. The change in the wording, the possibility of standing regarding ‘regulatory acts’ without having to show individual concern, aims to marginally extend the scope of standing for natural and legal persons. It is however very specifically worded and burdened by a restrictive drafting history. Although the Court of Justice has received a lot of criticism on its interpretation of the standing requirements in the action for annulment, it has in general interpreted the article liberally. The solution does therefore not fit the general line of the article, or the Court’s interpretations. As Gormley had predicted, as confirmed by this contribution, this innovation does not offer the Court of Justice the possibility to open its arms further for the wider embrace of non-privileged applicants but, only leads to continuous squabbles on the qualification of acts. What greater tribute could there be in the career of an academic, than to be proven right?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Internal Market and the Future of European Integration
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honour of Laurence W. Gormley
EditorsFabian Amtenbrink, Gareth Davies, Dimitry Kochenov, Justin Lindeboom
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-1-108-47441-2
Publication statusPublished - 5-Apr-2019


  • EU internal market
  • access to justice
  • Internal market
  • EU Law
  • Court of Justice

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