As the written sources of EU law cannot always provide a solution for every question which comes before CJEU, there is what has become known as general principles of law. These principles originate from the laws of individual member states, such as equality and from interpretations of treaty articles. The legal basis for the incorporation of these principles can be found under Article 263 TFEU, which states infringement of rule of law, and in Article 340 TFEU there is a direct reference made to general principles of EC law, and states “in accordance with” which suggest the power of the general principles as a source of law. Thirdly, Art.19 TEU provides that the ECJ is under a duty to ‘ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed’.
Art. 6 TEU provides that:(1) The Union recognizes the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights … which shall have the same legal value as the Treaties. (3) Fundamental rights, as guaranteed and as they result from constitutional traditions common to the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union’s law. Some of the main principles the court has identified are the following: Proportionality was derived from German public law. It states a public authority may not impose obligations on a citizen except to the extent to which they are strictly necessary in the public interest (Bela – Muhle). It ensures measures imposed by public authorities onto citizens are reasonable to its purpose. I.e.; could the same result be achieved by other methods or means less harmful to the party concerned? This has been incorporated into Article 5 of TEU which states “the content and form of Union action shall not exceed what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the treaty”. In later cases the ECJ developed this principle further by providing, in Internationale Handelsgesellschaft, that EU law is supreme over all forms and sources of...
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