Systemic Interpretation in EU Public Procurement Law

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Title: Systemic Interpretation in EU Public Procurement Law
Author: Ukkola, Markus
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law, European Law
Doctoral Programme in Law
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018-08-16
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Abstract: The aim of the dissertation is to assess whether the jurisprudence of the Court has met the standards which secure the coherence and legal certainty and ultimately the acceptability of its rulings. The aim of the study is also to show how, by using systemic arguments, the Court could help to systematize this particular field of EU law and to improve legal certainty. In the study, legal reasoning and interpretation are assessed in the context of the European Court of Justice and the EU public procurement legislation. Using the terminology of MacCormick and Siltala, the approach utilized in the study is based on the Three C’s in Legal Reasoning: from linguistic consistency to the pursuit of principled, analogy-aligned coherence among legal principles and, ultimately, to the value-laden social consequences of law. Going through the academic work on the legal reasoning of the ECJ, it is suggested that there may not be a need for additional directives of preference, affecting the use of different legal arguments. It is also suggested that that numerous approaches to the legal reasoning of the ECJ support the sequential directive of interpretation. Especially in the context of EU public procurement legislation, which is a complex field of procedural legislation with risks of getting mixed with other EU legislation concerning the relationship between public authorities and the market, it is suggested that the essential elements of consistency, coherence and the formal side of legal certainty are hampered if there is an excessive emphasis on teleological or consequential arguments. The case law of the ECJ in cases concerning the scope of application of public procurement legislation and the requirement to tender out public contracts is evaluated through the normative viewpoint of sequential use of arguments It is shown how the consistency and coherence of the Court’s reasoning and justification is improved through focusing on the concept of a public contract and its elements such as consideration. Same positive effects are drawn from the conceptual analysis of cooperation between contracting authorities. On the other hand, it is argued that the excessive use of teleological and consequential arguments has had negative effects on the coherence of both the normative field of EU public procurement legislation and the reasoning itself. The excessive use of teleological or consequential arguments has led to the expansion of tendering requirements concerning concession contracts, the use of the procurement legislation to achieving objectives of EU competition law, the introduction of new objectives such as administrative efficiency, indeterminacy regarding the relationship and the division of tasks between free movement rules of the Treaty and the procurement directives, and the general uncertainty as to what types of arrangements of public authorities are covered by tendering rules. Through systemic reasoning it is argued that better cooperation with these institutional actors could have been achieved. In addition, the use of systemic arguments has been and could have been even more efficiently used as an essential tool in preventing the useless duplication of reasons and mixing together pieces of legislation which may be loosely connected in terms of their objectives but not in terms of their tasks.Väitöskirjan tarkoituksena on arvioida, onko unionin tuomioistuimen julkisia hankintoja koskevan lainsäädännön soveltamisalaa koskeva oikeuskäytäntö täyttänyt vaatimuksia, joiden tarkoituksena on varmistaa oikeuskäytännön johdonmukaisuus ja oikeusvarmuus. Väitöskirjassa esitetään, että etenkin unionin hankintalainsäädännön kontekstissa liiallinen teleologisten argumenttien käyttö voi heikentää johdonmukaisuuden ja yhdenmukaisuuden sekä oikeusvarmuuden elementtejä. Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on osoittaa, miten tuomioistuin voisi edesauttaa julkisia hankintoja koskevan lainsäädännön systematisoimista ja yhtenäisyyttä käyttämällä systeemisiä kuten käsitteisiin liittyviä argumentteja ratkaisutoiminnassaan Väitöskirjassa analysoidaan unionin tuomioistuimen julkisiten hankintojen lainsäädännön soveltamisalaa koskevaa ratkaisukäytäntöä ja tuomioistuimen ratkaisuissa käytettyjä argumentteja. Tutkimuksessa osoitetaan, miten käsitteistä kuten hankintasopimus tai hankintayksikkö voitaisiin johtaa lainsäädännön yhtenäisyyttä parantavaa tulkintakäytäntöä.
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