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Legal Mobilization and the Judicial Construction of EU Migration Law

Dates:
  • Mon 17 Feb 2020 10.30 - 12.30
  Add to Calendar 2020-02-17 10:30 2020-02-17 12:30 Europe/Paris Legal Mobilization and the Judicial Construction of EU Migration Law

Legal mobilization is a peculiar type of mobilization: it does not bring people to the

streets and does not use banners and slogans. Instead, it quietly uses the law and courts

to press for social change. While most of the studies on legal mobilization focus on the

United States or on the European Court of Human Rights, this thesis brings attention

on the underexplored but yet important question of legal mobilization before the Court

of Justice of the European Union. In particular, this research asks whether the

preliminary reference mechanism (267 TFEU) can be used as a tool for enhancing

migrants’ participation and protection. To do so, the thesis departs from the classic

court-centric approach and conducts a law and society analysis of three case studies

(Italy, the UK and the Netherlands). By interviewing the individuals involved in the

preliminary reference proceedings on migrants’ rights, and by analysing press

documents and political statements, I collected fine-grained qualitative data that

allowed me to uncover the legal mobilization stories behind the litigations. Finally,

analysing together the three case studies, the last chapter identifies the conditions under

which a legal mobilization emerges and reaches the Court of Justice. These conditions

lay bare the fact that supranational legal mobilization is not a ‘cheap’ strategy: it is

generally a rather long process, that requires material and non-material resources, and

the outcome of which is difficult to predict. The findings of this thesis offer an

innovative understanding of the preliminary reference mechanism and of its potential

to create social change. Although in some instances the Court of Justice has not been

responsive to the civil society’s calls, in other cases litigation has led to the redefinition

and expansion of migrants’ rights, and arguably it represents an important tool to

scrutinize the executive’s activity and give voice to minorities’ interests.

Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle

Legal mobilization is a peculiar type of mobilization: it does not bring people to the

streets and does not use banners and slogans. Instead, it quietly uses the law and courts

to press for social change. While most of the studies on legal mobilization focus on the

United States or on the European Court of Human Rights, this thesis brings attention

on the underexplored but yet important question of legal mobilization before the Court

of Justice of the European Union. In particular, this research asks whether the

preliminary reference mechanism (267 TFEU) can be used as a tool for enhancing

migrants’ participation and protection. To do so, the thesis departs from the classic

court-centric approach and conducts a law and society analysis of three case studies

(Italy, the UK and the Netherlands). By interviewing the individuals involved in the

preliminary reference proceedings on migrants’ rights, and by analysing press

documents and political statements, I collected fine-grained qualitative data that

allowed me to uncover the legal mobilization stories behind the litigations. Finally,

analysing together the three case studies, the last chapter identifies the conditions under

which a legal mobilization emerges and reaches the Court of Justice. These conditions

lay bare the fact that supranational legal mobilization is not a ‘cheap’ strategy: it is

generally a rather long process, that requires material and non-material resources, and

the outcome of which is difficult to predict. The findings of this thesis offer an

innovative understanding of the preliminary reference mechanism and of its potential

to create social change. Although in some instances the Court of Justice has not been

responsive to the civil society’s calls, in other cases litigation has led to the redefinition

and expansion of migrants’ rights, and arguably it represents an important tool to

scrutinize the executive’s activity and give voice to minorities’ interests.


Location:
Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of Law

Type:
Thesis defence

Contact:
Helene Debuire Franchini - Send a mail

Defendant:
Virginia Passalacqua (EUI - Law)

Examiner:
Prof. Dia Anagnostou (Panteion University of Social Sciences)
Prof. Elise Muir (KU Leuven)
Prof. Claire Kilpatrick (EUI - Law Department)

Supervisor:
Prof. Bruno De Witte (EUI)

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Page last updated on 18 August 2017