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Access to an effective justice system is an essential right,  one of the founding principles of European democracies enshrined in the constitutional traditions common to all European Union Member States.

Effective justice systems

Effective national justice systems are crucial for the effectiveness of all EU law. That includes particularly EU economic laws that contribute to growth.

Whenever a national court applies EU legislation, it acts as a ‘Union court’. Where rights guaranteed in EU law have been violated, the national court must provide effective judicial protection to all. The importance of this right to an effective remedy is enshrined in Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.pdf

A prime example is the essential role played by national courts in enforcing EU legislation crucial for maintaining the Single Market, such as EU competition laws. This particularly applies to areas such as electronic communications, intellectual property , public procurement, and protection of consumers and of the environment.

Shortcomings in the national justice systems are thus not only a problem for a particular Member State, but can affect the functioning of the Single Market itself and, more generally, the whole EU legal system which is based on mutual trust.