European Union Law /Links bei is only updated once a month nowadays, but it’s always worth looking at the old stuff – a lot of foreign legal systems discussed in English.
Meanwhile Rainer Langenhan reminds me once again that there is a new set of entries out.

What is particularly interesting is an updated version of European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Printed Research. Unfortunately, they chose a bad time to publish – some of the links are out of date, but it should be easy enough to find the right ones – this applies to Oscola at the end as well as eur-lex links.

It seems that the EU addresses have nearly all changed, now that the .eu domain is available. Delia Venables writes on October 3:

The Europa site now has a new web address – After all, the new country code of .eu was set up by the European community so it is quite reasonable that is should take advantage of its own nice new web address! (The previous address was, using the .int designation – this still works but the viewer is redirected automatically to the new address).

Also with new web addresses, all as sub addresses of the Europa site:
The European Parliament
The European Court of Justice.
The European Court of Human Rights however still seems to be using the old address with the .int designation.

But the ECHR is a separate entity and applies to a wider Europe, of course.

Some time ago, I was informed on a translators’ list that it’s not correct to refer to EU legislation or even EU law – it should be EC legislation (since the Community pillar does most of the legislation) and EC law. Someone said ‘it’s so difficult to prove a negative’ (most recently in connection with a claim in the USA that the British talk about ordinances all the time – this was on translating Rechtsverordnung), and it’s been about a year, but I have eventually tracked down the source of this claim. It was made in a talk to translators at the University of Surrey, and there’s a report on that talk in the newsletter of the ITI Terminology Network. I don’t know if that newsletter, of July 2004, is available generally, but it is googlable.

The originator of this was a professor at the University of Surrey, who has been or was for many years an interpreter at the EU (er, make that EC):

She began by asking, in semi-rhetorical fashion, whether we all fully understood the difference between European Union and European Community law. This led onto an explanation of the ‘3 pillar’ structure supporting the ‘roof’ of the EU which many of us may have come across before but were undoubtedly glad to have elucidated again. In a nutshell, only one of the supporting pillars, that comprising the EC (i.e. the former EEC + ECSC + EURATOM) has the capacity to adopt legislation. The various Treaties therefore emanate from this first ‘pillar’. The EU itself has no ‘legal personality’. This means that it cannot take on any administrative role, for instance, nor can it instigate legal action outside the EC on the EC’s behalf. By contrast, the EC does have such ‘personality’. Talking of ‘European law’ or ‘EU law’ is therefore largely a misnomer – it is EC law which is meant.

Now I don’t know whether ‘a misnomer’ was really meant to imply the terms cannot be used, but the audience seem to have taken it that way, as I have encountered two translators who firmly believe you cannot talk of EU legislation.

Is there any law from the other pillars? The ECJ decision in Pupino, Case C-105/03, relating to third-pillar legislation, certainly shows it is not only the Community pillar, but also the police and judicial pillar that creates legislation (the case related to the obligation of Italy to interpret the law of criminal procedure in line with a framework decision). But even apart from that, I would have thought it natural to refer to EU legislation and EU law in contrast with national law. As many book titles do, and so does (although they’re Americans, of course).

The discussion about the EU not having legal personality seems relevant in international law, but not in the context of law / legislation. And the main body of EU law is in the treaties, which were entered into by the member states, not the EC. But in the talk it was said that the treaties ’emanate’ from the EC pillar.

Has this emanated to anyone else?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.