Decision On Opt - Out Clauses

  • It is the opinion of the European Court of Justice that legislation approved by the European Council is binding upon every nation. That is not to say, however, that specific opt-out clauses for specific areas or nations may not be adopted by the European Council. Such opt-out clauses hold with the Constitution and furthermore concurr with the principle of independence of nations, whereas that independence is defined. The case would be different where a nation requests an exemption, but a majority does not vote to amend the bill. This would be a different matter upon which the Court would rule in such an event. The principle of fairness, however, dictates that signatories to the Constitution agree to the fruit of its work and ergo legislation duly passed thereby.

    This was a majority decision with four consenting justices and one non-present justice.

    -The Hon. Chief Justice Lord Malloch-Brown

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