Impact of EU Law on Statutory Interpretation before Brexit

Before Brexit, European Union (EU) law had a significant impact on statutory interpretation in the UK. The UK was a member of the EU, and as such, EU law had direct effect in the UK and took precedence over conflicting UK law. Here are some ways in which EU law impacted statutory interpretation:

The principle of supremacy: EU law was considered to be supreme over UK law, meaning that if there was a conflict between EU law and UK law, EU law would take precedence. This principle had an impact on how judges interpreted UK statutes, as they had to take into account the requirements of EU law.

Regulations: EU regulations had direct effect in the UK, and were automatically incorporated into UK law. When interpreting UK statutes that interacted with EU regulations, judges had to take into account the requirements of the regulation and ensure that the UK law was consistent with the regulation.

Directives: EU directives were binding on the UK, and had to be transposed into UK law. When interpreting UK statutes that implemented EU directives, judges had to take into account the requirements of the directive and ensure that the UK law was consistent with the directive.

EU case law: EU case law from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had an impact on how UK courts interpreted EU law. UK courts were required to interpret EU law in accordance with the rulings of the ECJ, and had to ensure that UK law was consistent with EU law.

EU law had a significant impact on statutory interpretation in the UK before Brexit. The principles of EU law, as well as EU directives, regulations, and case law, all had to be taken into account by UK judges when interpreting UK statutes that interacted with EU law.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham
ESSEC Business School

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.