Although an 'ultimate arbiter' is generally accepted as a necessary element of a federation, emerging federal systems are often unable to agree on who should play the role. Legally, the debate surrounds the right to monitor the limits of federal and state competences - or the right to Kompetenz-Kompetenz. This article looks at how the early United States and the European Union managed without an ultimate arbiter and assesses the differing priorities of the two systems. It then examines how the Constitutional Treaty might change the delicate balance wrought by the European Court of Justice in Europe, and what lessons, if any, the early American experience might offer.
- European Court of Justice
- US Supreme Court
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations