The Role of the Reference for a Preliminary Ruling to the CJEU in the Administrative Jurisdiction

By Sara Spuntarelli

The dialogue between administrative courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has developed in progressive stages. The exa- mination of recent references for a preliminary ruling indicates a tendency to make a sort of request to check national judgements against European standards. This tendency reached its height with the contestation of the nomophylactic principle enunciated by the Plenary Session of the Council of State, there where it may lead to the establishment of a principle of law that may conflict with the interpretation of EU law. Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is a fundamental mechanism of EU law that assures close cooperation between the CJEU and the courts and tribunals of the Member States. However, the means available to the courts and tribunals of Member States to submit to the CJEU a request for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of EU law imposes, as an effect, conditions upon the national nomophylactic role noted above. In this context, the nomophylactic principle is equated to a national provision, the conformity to EU law of which the national judge requests evaluation; and which, given the premises recognized by CJEU case law, the judge may disapply directly.