Tautological Rule of Law in the Service of Populism

Building on the analysis of the European Court of Justice case-law and cutting-edge Rule of Law scholarship, including the work of Professors Palombella and Krygier, I demonstrate that the principle of the Rule of Law in the sense of the value included in Article 2 TEU, has largely been, throughout the evolution of the European integration exercise, tautological in nature: its only purpose seems to be to proclaim and entrench the supremacy claim of the Court in question. Recent case-law, although striding in the substantive direction of ensuring judicial independence, fails to depart from the familiar use of the concept. Article 19(1) as a trigger of the Rule of Law policing in the hands of the supranational court unquestionably boosts the Court's authority, while failing to introduce any meaningful understanding of the Rule of Law at the supranational level, let alone hardly applying to the ECJ itself.