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Giulia La Torre

GEM-DIAMOND doctoral fellow

ESR 16 – The European Constitutional Counter-Revolution

Broadly interested in the inter-linkages between the authority of law, constitutional discourse and the legitimacy of adjudication, I am presently engaged in the substantive study of the primacy of EU law. The focus of my current research lies, more specifically, on the conceptual profile, normative underpinnings and relational positioning of the EU law principle of primacy, which I intend to reconstruct largely on the basis of the CJEU’s jurisprudence and in the light of the persistent, and ongoing, wave of national constitutional contestation.

Host Institutions

Of authority and competing loyalties: Understanding the contested primacy of EU law
Essays on the intellectual contours, normative underpinnings, judicial conceptualization and justificatory function of the EU Law principle of primacy


  • Nicolas Levrat
  • Anne Weyembergh

Research abstract

The aim of the thesis is to unearth the conceptual, normative and structural vulnerabilities that fuel contestation to the supreme authority of EU law, thereby furthering the understanding of EU law as a distinct, yet paradigmatic, social phenomenon. The principle of primacy, as the primary ordering property of the EU legal system, is an unequaled medium for the conceptual ordering, normative reconstruction and contextual appreciation of the authority of EU law. The judge-made formula of primacy thus serves as the main vehicle for the exploration of a larger three-dimensional theme, namely the character, binding power and scope of EU law. Accordingly, the thesis should be thought of as a multi-step intellectual effort, which, using primacy as a connecting agent, moves from the level of semantic-conceptual categorization to the more substantive stratum of normative discourse and further on to the wider legal-institutional arena so as to make sense of the EU's law claim to ultimate allegiance and unrivalled obedience.