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Accountability in the European Union$
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Carol Harlow

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245970

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245970.001.0001

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Accountability through Law

Accountability through Law

(p.144) 6 Accountability through Law
Accountability in the European Union

Carol Harlow

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the liberal democratic theory which sets law at the centre of constitutional machinery for securing limited government and accountability. An effective and accessible justice system is the way to provide the element of individual redress and reparation and, where appropriate, sanction, which form essential components of accountability systems. This chapter also discusses the formation and achievements of the European Court of Justice in constructing a system of legal accountability. Discussions on the concept of a perverted democracy where the balance of power is tilted too far towards a non-accountable judiciary are also presented. A substantial relocation of power from parliamentary institutions towards a non-elected judiciary is a feature of transnational governance, linked to the dominance of economic and commercial interests, and autonomous from political interests.

Keywords:   European Court of Justice, redress, reparation, sanction, judiciary, liberal democracy

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