The Concept of Juristocracy on Trial: Reality or Fiction?
This article aims to investigate the controversial concept of Juristocracy that has been widely analysed recently. This theory claims that lobbyists representing a liberal ideology have formed an oligarchy of lawyers in EU institutions. These juristocratic networks seek to limit the sovereignty of post-liberal, legitimate national governments. The concept extends to other supranational institutions as well as NGOs and academic networks. This study discusses the political ambition of lawyers of EU institutions and their existence as political protagonists i.e. Juristocracy. However, the theory of Juristocracy addresses some historical phenomena. The EU’s bureaucracy has become a “power institution” and tends to compete with national governments. In this socio-evolutionary struggle, both legal and political theories can easily become “power theories”. The concept of Juristocracy reflects the weakening global influence of neoliberal values as well as the changing role of post-WWII supranational institutions. In this respect, juristocratic networking can be seen as a historical necessity as much as it has to do with the conflict of supranational and national governance, in particular within the EU. The legitimacy and public trust of supranational institutions is more and more challenged, thus the study concludes the need for a new, win–win deal between national governments and supranational institutions. Otherwise, in the long-term, nation states will only survive if relying on historical and socio-psychological foundations.