Skip to main content

Anna Wallerman winner of Common Market Law Review 2015 Young Academics Prize


The winner of the Common Market Law Review 2015 Young Academics Prize is Doctor Anna Wallerman for her article entitled: Towards an EU law doctrine on the exercise of discretion in national courts? The article will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Review.

Common Market Law Review was founded 50 years ago and is today one of the highest ranked journals on international law that brings its readers detailed and in-depth examination of the most pressing and far-reaching issues on European Union Law.

Common Market Law Review 2015 Prize was announced for an article submitted by a young academic. The topic for the 2015 prize was within the field of Judicial Protection in European Union law and/or Article 47 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Anna Wallerman defended her thesis On discretionary rules in civil procedure – A study of Swedish and EU regulation of the exercise of discretion in procedural matters 12 June 2015 at the University of Gothenburg, Department of Law.

Increased flexibility has been one of the most consistently pursued goals of civil procedure reforms in Sweden during recent decades, resulting in a near doubling of the number of rules intended to confer discretion upon the courts. Meanwhile, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has in its case law increasingly ventured into core areas of procedural law, suggesting inter alia that the legislative choice to confer discretion on the courts affects the effective enforcement of EU law. The thesis examines recent development in civil procedure in Sweden. It argues that EU law influence is liable to hamper the Swedish reforms in fulfilling their purpose and that the effect of the reforms may instead be to further the impact of substantive EU law before Swedish courts. It also argues that the flexibility-driven reforms have structural effects on the allocation of normative powers between the Union and the Member State, as well as between the legislative branch and the judiciary. The CJEU has repeatedly if not consistently used the existence of discretionary powers of the national courts to further the impact of EU law. In doing so the Court has gone beyond what is required by the minimum principles of effectiveness, equivalence and effective judicial protection, and beyond what would have been required by the Member States, had the national rules governing the matter been of mandatory rather than discretionary character. Increased judicial discretion in national procedural regulation thereby strenghtens the effectiveness of EU law. The thesis therefore suggests that an EU law perspective should be adopted in further reforms of civil procedure. It also outlines a strategy for the application of discretionary rules in Swedish courts, which is intended to safeguard the fundamental principles of national civil procedure while ensuring conformity with EU law requirements.