Abuse of EU Law Revisited: an Analytical Perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The article explores the prohibition of abuse of EU law, a specific doctrine developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). As an exceptional tool, it empowers authorities to deny benefits formally gained by private parties. The doctrine has grown increasingly wide and potent, as illustrated by the recent preliminary rulings in Cussens, Altun and Danish beneficial ownership cases. Simultaneously, it has become more difficult to comprehend. The article tries to explain and systematize the current state of the doctrine, employing analytical legal positivism as a theoretical bedrock. A framework based on various rules and Hohfeldian elements is developed to analyse essential cases, such as Emsland, Cadbury and Cussens. The analysis clarifies doctrinal questions regarding the two-part abuse test and the concept of redefinition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-372
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Public Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Court of Justice
  • Cussens
  • Emsland
  • Hohfeldian elements
  • abuse of EU law
  • analytical legal positivism
  • artificial arrangements
  • prohibition of abuse
  • teleology

Field of science

  • Law


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