It was on a seemingly endless Friday afternoon when, exasperated by their jurisdictive duties and by certain Member States’ reluctance to submit to them, the European Court of Justice judges ruled all law in Europe to be unnecessary. The leaders and peoples of Europe have matured enough to know in themselves what is right and just without having to wait for years on end for a clumsy judicial procedure to end, the judges stated. “This does not render all treaties void per se”, one of them commented afterwards, “It is just from now onwards, ex nunc, that no decision could be grounded upon any of those acts. Jura novit curia, the court knows the law, no more, per se. It’s all history now, even if legal.”
The great singer, lover, spokesman, former Prime Minister, and champion of freedom and justice, Silvio Berlusconi, was the first to respond positively to the negation of law. “Now a gentleman as illustrious as I should not be degraded to the level of going to court to answer to such ludicrous accusations. If I was happy, and my charming companions were satisfied, how could a court possibly say this is a crime?” When reminded about his other ongoing trials for corruption he just smiled and suavely said, “Now there is no law, it will be up to the people to see how right and just I am in my actions, and how utterly devoid of any sort of corruption they are”.
The British Eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage was also enthused by the event. “It is a great day for Britain, and, respectively, for Europe. Now it will be all up to us, the British politicians who embrace values like family and tradition, to convince our people how important it is that the nation keeps to itself. Realistically speaking, this will be all the easier without some grey Belgian eurocrat spouting numerous so-called non-discriminatory acts each time we try to champion our views.” Before heading into the Parliament building in Strasbourg, he was heard mumbling the incoherent words “keep”, “foreigners”, “island”, along with some expletives and Eastern European nationalities. When PM David Cameron was asked whether he supported Farage’s opinion, he remarked that the journalists might very well think so, but he couldn’t possibly comment.
When Hungarian media approached Victor Orban for his point of view, all he could do was smirk.
Practising lawyers all over Europe were ostensibly impoverished overnight. Amongst queues of employment agencies’ offices, their opinion on the absurdity of such an act was undivided. “Sure, those judges in Luxembourg can now live out their old age in a serene southern university town teaching legal history, but did they ever think of us mere LLMs? If my plan to switch to investment banking doesn’t work out, I might have to cancel my reservations – non-refundable, mind you! – to Capri for the summer and sell my younger son’s Lamborghini, which I had bought for high-school graduation. That’s how serious this is,” a German lawyer robbed of his profession, who wished to remain anonymous, complained. “All the years spent studying intricate legal questions, from day one in the Faculty of Law, down to my twenty-year practice in divorce cases, now in vain,” lamented another former lawyer from Vienna, with tears in his eyes.
Law students across Europe were largely stupefied by the unexpected event. “If we change our profession, does this mean I can still afford a Ferrari at 27?”, one cautious Polish student was heard asking. “Don’t worry – go into banking! Now there will be no regulation on bankers’ bonuses anymore, you could even try to get it at 26!”, a finance major boasted. Another former Law student from Athens said he hadn’t been in it for the money, he just found law intriguing. “Now, now, Antonis, you can still transfer to the Faculty of Literature and study Kafka.”, a professor in legal history tried to comfort him.
Many households had to face a dilemma similar to that of the Petrovs in Sofia. “Now there is no law that says I have to, should I pay taxes, dear?”, the husband asked his spouse. “Only if you deem it right and just, darling.” “But really, I always thought I didn’t get what I deserved for paying taxes, it would not be right and just to carry on doing that now, would it?” “Of course not, darling. I love you for being such a decent man and standing up for that.”
It was hardly a surprise that people across Europe solved the dilemma in a similar manner. And now without having to pay for less than they deserve, without meticulous rules drafted by and for lawyers, without exhausting and byzantine judicial procedures, Europeans could finally sit back and enjoy the freedom that they were previously denied.
Cover photo: Mr.TinDC, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)