Brexit: Plans for U.K to leave European Court of Justice

Theresa May has announced plans for Britain to leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, following Brexit.

Several potential ‘escape routes’ have been announced to allow Britain to un-stitch the 40 years of membership to the European Court of Justice. Theresa May has stated  that it is “neither necessary nor appropriate” for the ECJ to police British law post-Brexit.

What is the European Court of Justice?

Set up in 1952, the ECJ is the EU’s highest court and is responsible for ensuring all EU member states and institutions comply with EU law.

The ECJ is often confused with the European Court of Human Rights, which some have attributed to the ECJ’s negative reputation. However, the ECJ is predominantly responsible for the equal application of EU Law across all member countries and not for European Human Rights jurisdiction.

The ECJ has been criticised by  Eurosceptics  for its overspending, particularly the expenses of 28 Court Judges and the Luxembourg courthouse which cost €500 million to build.

Impact on British Business

The news has been met with widespread criticism from legal experts and politicians who claim the move is unrealistic.

Many U.K businesses will still need to comply with EU Law in order to export goods to EU countries. Manufacturers of food for example, will still need to satisfy EU food regulations in order to sell products in Europe.

Therefore, it has been deemed unrealistic for the U.K to attempt   jurisdictional independence when many U.K businesses will still comply with EU Law regardless.

European Court of Human Rights

Although the ECJ is separate from the European Court of Human Rights, many have noted that the move  could predict the same for future for U.K membership to the European Court of Human Rights.

This will cast uncertainty on how Britain will proceed with Human Rights and could see the U.K re-creating its own Human Rights Law in the form of a British Bill of Rights.