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PhD candidate at the Centre of European Law is awarded European Foreign Affairs Review prize

In January 2018, the academic journal 'European Foreign Affairs Review' awarded Luigi Lonardo the Annual Prize for his article ‘The political question doctrine as applied to common foreign and security policy'.

The prize was granted for best published article by an author under 35 (at the time of first submission). As the Review’s website states, "the prize is awarded to encourage research by young scholars who give evidence of excellence, notably by being thematically ground-breaking, intellectually innovative or empirically significant." The European Foreign Affairs Review, published by Wolters Kluwer, considers the external posture of the European Union in its relations with the rest of the world. It focuses on the political, legal and economic aspects of the Union’s external relations.

Luigi’s research, supervised by Professor Takis Tridimas and fully funded by the Centre of European Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, focuses on the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union; he is honoured by this award and expresses its gratitude to the European Foreign Affairs Review’s and Wolters Kluwer’s editorial board and to Professor Tridimas for the intellectual guidance.   

Luigi’s article, which was published in issue 4 of 2017, suggests the introduction of a political question doctrine in European Union Law. The political question doctrine is the determination by a court that the issue presented in the controversy should not be decided by a judge. In such cases, judges recognise that the decision is not fit to judicial determination for example, as the US Supreme Court stated, because it is purely political (such as the recognition of a foreign state), or because it requires technical expertise unsuitable to judicial scrutiny (such as the termination of war). Luigi makes the provocative case that this highly contentious and fiercely debated feature of US case law should be used by the Court of Justice of the European Union; and that the Luxembourg court should not substitute itself to politicians and civil servants, especially, but not exclusively, in the domain of European Union’s foreign affairs. 

The views expressed in the article had been aired in international academic gatherings, and have greatly benefited from the discussion that took place on those occasions: the seminar Advanced Perspectives on Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Trento (Italy); the PhD students’ presentations organised by the Graduate Legal Research Society at the Dickson Poon School of Law; and the Annual Conference of the American Society of Comparative Law (Younger Comparativists Committee) at Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey).


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