E-Mich - "Ideology critique of the ECJ’s freedoms vs. rights case law "

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

01 décembre 2020

12h45 - 14h00

Mardi intime de la Chaire Hoover par Aristel Skrbic (KU Leuven)

In this talk Aristel Skrbic develops a critique of ideology of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Unlike some recent attempts in the literature, he moves away from understanding ideology as a set of beliefs and instead focus on the function of ideology as a system of representation which through distortion helps to maintain and reproduce domination. Instead of arguing that political beliefs of judges enter into their work which leads to ideological judgements and should thus be critiqued, he shows that the work of the Court fulfils an ideological function. To make his case he focuses on the so-called breach/justification methodology which the ECJ uses to resolve apparent conflicts between fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights. For example, when a companies’ freedom to freely move across borders comes into tension with the right of a labour union to strike, the Court resolves the conflict by using the breach/justification methodology. While the methodology is presented as neutral, he argues that it fulfils an ideological function by privileging capital over labour under the very guise of this neutrality.