UK to leave jurisdiction of European Court of Justice
August 24, 2017

The Government yesterday published a paper detailing its position on Enforcement and dispute resolution between the UK and the EU after Brexit. The paper states that “[In] leaving the European Union, we will bring about an end to the direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union” and the UK’s Supreme Court will be the ultimate arbiter of law. Prime Minister Theresa May has continually insisted that post-Brexit the European Court will not have jurisdiction in the UK, and Mrs May repeated this promise stating that the UK will “take back control of our laws”.

However, the paper has also suggested that EU judges may continue to exercise jurisdiction in the transitional period following Brexit in March 2019. The paper states that the Government “will work with the EU on the design of the interim period, including the arrangements for judicial supervision, enforcement and dispute resolution”. In addition, the use of the words “direct jurisdiction” have led some commentators to question what “indirect” jurisdiction the EU court will be left with.

The European Court of Justice ensures EU member states abide by EU laws and regulations, it interprets questions concerning EU law and settles disputes between countries and different EU institutions. The court’s rulings are binding, and critics in the UK say it has taken power and sovereignty from British courts and Parliament.