Charles-Louis de Secondat de la Brède, baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755), was a lawyer, judge and writer. He is renowned for his work De l'esprit des lois (‘The Spirit of Laws’), published in 1748 after several years of travel in Europe, during which he studied the political systems, economies, climates, histories and customs of the countries in which he stayed. Considered for that reason to be one of the first comparative legal scholars, but also a pioneer of modern sociology, Montesquieu advocated a redistribution of State powers in which the powers of the State are both separate and interdependent, guaranteeing that they are balanced. He thus laid the foundations for the principle of the separation of powers, which is still considered today to be the bedrock of any democracy.
By choosing Montesquieu, whose thinking helped to forge the principle of judicial independence, the Court of Justice of the European Union draws attention to the values, common to the Member States, which define the very identity of the European Union as an autonomous legal order.
The Montesquieu Tower is one of the buildings that make up the fourth extension of the Palais.
The tower’s golden colour comes from the anodised aluminium mesh, which acts as a sunshade. This same mesh has also been used in the other buildings in order to create a unified architectural whole. Through the pattern of its structure, the brightness of its texture and the depth of its layers, the metal weave gives the building a recognisable identity.
At the time of its official opening in December 2008, together with its twin, the Comenius Tower, the Montesquieu Tower was the tallest building in the country. Its 26 floors reach a height of 103 metres, since surpassed by the Rocca Tower.