Q&As

Are UK courts and tribunals bound by decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union post-Brexit?

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Published on LexisPSL on 30/03/2020

The following Public Law Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are UK courts and tribunals bound by decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union post-Brexit?
  • Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the UK
  • During transition
  • After transition
  • Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in matters arising under the Withdrawal Agreement
  • Further reading

As of exit day (11pm on 31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State and its relationship with the EU is governed by the Withdrawal Agreement. Exit day marked the start of an 11-month transition or implementation period during which the transitional arrangements under Part 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement apply.

The transition period is effectively a standstill period intended to maintain the legal status quo while the UK and the EU negotiate an agreement on their future relationship. The European Commission described the implementation period as ‘business as usual’ in the EU and the UK. Unless extended, the transition period is due to last until 31 December 2020 (referred to in UK law as IP completion day).

For further information on the Withdrawal Agreement and associated transitional arrangements, see Practice Note: Brexit—introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement and Q&A: In the context of Brexit, what is meant by the ‘transition or implementation period’?

The Withdrawal Agreement was implemented in UK law by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (EU(WA)A 2020), which amended key provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018) and associated Brexit legislation to reflect the transitional arrangements in domestic law. In particular:

  1. the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, effective on exit day, was made subject to specific savings to allow for the operation of the

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