Notwithstanding the result of the 2016 referendum, EU law remains relevant throughout the United Kingdom. It will continue to do so, albeit in a substantially different way, following the UK’s expected withdrawal in or around 2019. Axiom members recognise that it is essential for a Scots lawyer to have and to continue to have an awareness of EU law.
EU law remains an important source of rights and obligations, available to litigants in Scottish (as well as European) courts at all levels. Scottish courts – as, for the time being, courts of the European Union - have obligations to ensure that EU law is enforced. They must provide remedies on similar terms to domestic cases, and even create remedies where none would otherwise exist under Scots law. Some EU legislation applies in Scotland even without having been incorporated into UK law. Where there is relevant domestic legislation, it is often based on EU legislation, and has to be interpreted in accordance with it. Scottish legislation and acts of Scottish Ministers will be invalid where they fail to comply with EU law, and may be challenged as such in the courts. The European Courts are progressive, a fruitful source of law, and their fundamental rights jurisprudence is far reaching – and of binding, primary legal effect. If you're struggling to find a right or remedy under domestic law, it may exist under EU law, and may (for now) continue to be enforced or sought. Axiom members have acted in a number of cases involving EU law, both in Scotland, before the Supreme Court, and in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and are well placed to advise on the following areas:
Direct and indirect effect
Challenging Scottish Legislation and Ministerial acts
Damages based on EU law
References to and cases in the European Court of Justice