Article (Scientific journals)
Law and Discretion in Monetary Policy and in the Banking Union: Complexity Between High Politics and Administration
Mendes, Joana
2023In Common Market Law Review, 60 (6), p. 1579-1622
Peer reviewed


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Keywords :
judicial review of administrative discretion; complex technical and economic assessments; monetary policy; proportionality; banking union; principle of careful and impartial examination
Abstract :
[en] The controversy over the degree of judicial review of monetary policy decisions triggered by the contrasting Weiss judgments of the German Constitutional Court and of the Court of Justice of the European Union invites an inquiry into the role of law in areas characterised by a high degree of political and technical complexity. This article singles out the structural conditions that qualify complexity in specific instances of decision-making: prognostic assessments, goal-oriented decisions, marked by uncertainty, legal indeterminacy and discretion. These traits characterise both monetary policy decisions and some regulatory decisions taken within the banking union, such as the setting of minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) and the calculation of the leverage ratios of credit institutions (Livret A judgments). Irrespective of the very distinct formal-institutional legal frameworks of these two policy fields, in those conditions legality may be determined by the discretionary choices of the decision-maker. For this reason, they impact the court’s deployment of legal principles, namely proportionality and careful and impartial examination. This cross-sector comparison sheds light on the relative specificity of monetary policy, and leads to rejecting the transposition of a distinction between ‘high politics’ and ‘ordinary administration’ to EU law, as a means of both explaining and guiding different degrees of judicial review in conditions of complexity. The different constitutional relevance of monetary policy decisions and of ‘ordinary’ banking supervision requires not a distinction that can rationalise judicial review, but a full consideration of the role that the law must have in supporting non-judicial accountability
Disciplines :
European & international law
Author, co-author :
Mendes, Joana ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Department of Law (DL)
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
Law and Discretion in Monetary Policy and in the Banking Union: Complexity Between High Politics and Administration
Publication date :
Journal title :
Common Market Law Review
Publisher :
Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
Focus Area :
Law / European Law
Funders :
European Central Bank - Legal Research Programme 2022
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