ARE YOU INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT THE SOURCES OF EU LAW?
TRY READING THIS & SEE IF BY THE END OF IT YOU CAN TELL WHAT THE SOURCES OF EU ARE.
The sources of European Union law may be divided into three categories:
1. Primary sources
2. Secondary sources &
3. Supplementary sources
These are sources that come mainly from the founding treaties such as the Treaty on European Union (TEU; post Lisbon) & the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). These treaties set out the distribution of competence between the Union & the Member States & establish the powers of the European institutions. They therefore determine the legal framework within which the EU institutions implement European policies. Primary sources also include the amending EU treaties; the protocols annexed to the founding treaties & to the amending treaties; the treaties on new member states accession to the EU.
These sources come from unilateral acts & agreements & conventions. Unilateral acts may be divided into two types: (1) those listed in Art 288 TFEU such as Regulations, Directives & Decisions on the one hand, which the Treaty defines as legally binding Acts & Opinions & Recommendations on the other which it defines as non-binding Acts. These are of persuasive value & may be used as an aid to interpretation by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) & as such must be taken into account by the national courts. And those not listed in Art 288 TFEU for example, communications & recommendations, & white & green papers. Whilst the conventions & agreements group together include: international agreements signed by the EU & a country or outside organization; agreements Between Member States & interinstitutional agreements, that is, agreements between the EU institutions.
These sources come from international law & general principles of law. International law is a source of inspiration for the ECJ when developing its case-law. The Court cites written, custom & usage. General principles of law are unwritten sources of law developed by the case-law of the ECJ. They have allowed the Court to implement rules in different domains of which treaties make no mention. Together these have enabled the Court to bridge the gaps left by primary or secondary sources.