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The Coherence of EU Law: The Search for Unity in Divergent Concepts [Hardcover]

Sacha Prechal , Bert van Roermund

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Book Description

Jan. 24 2008 0199232466 978-0199232468
The EU legal order sits above a diverse mix of 27 national legal systems, with some 23 different languages. Amongst such diversity, how can the unity and coherence of the European legal system be guaranteed? Is there a common understanding between lawyers from different national backgrounds as to the meaning and application of EU law? In addressing these issues the idea of 'common concepts' has played a crucial role - it is argued that the unity of the system is guaranteed by the consistent application of certain core principles shaping the law. To what extent can these concepts be trusted to provide a firm basis for the coherence of the EU legal order? Believers in common concepts argue that there is a relatively clear, shared and accepted framework of ideas, providing an understanding of the system that is ultimately unified in spite of all apparent divergence. Sceptics hold that there is no such framework; 'common concepts' turn out to be additional sources of misunderstanding, confusion and, subsequently, legal divergence. According to a third thesis, there is indeed no common conceptual core, but the necessary unity and coherence of EU law can be articulated and even reinforced through the use of divergent concepts. The contributors to this collection of essays address these issues from different disciplinary perspectives - legal sociology, linguistics, comparative law, European legal scholarship, legal theory and practical experience. The research group focused on the application of two general themes: the protection of rights and judicial discretion. In addition to the thematic research, case studies from core policy sectors are featured, including energy regulation and social policy.

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About the Author

Sacha Prechal is currently full-time Professor of European law at the Law Faculty of Utrecht University (Europa Institute), specializing in European administrative and constitutional law, and in the relationship between substantive and institutional law of the European Union. She has written numerous case notes and articles on EC law, in particular on EC equality law, on various aspects of the relationship and interaction between EC law and national law and on problems related to EC directives, including Directives in EC Law (OUP, 2005). She is also one of the authors of Europeanization of Public Law (Europa Law Publishing 2007). Bert van Roermund has been professor of legal philosophy at Tilburg University since 1989. After his Rousseau research, he published widely on various fundamental legal concepts and contemporary legal problems (constitutional review, democracy, European integration). His monograph on Law, Narrative and Reality (1997; also in Spanish) concluded a period of research in law and language. Since 1997 he focuses on problems of authority and representation (sovereignty, identity, normativity, reconciliation) in supra-national contexts like the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. He is currently in charge of the research programme Legislation and Identity, Strategies of Authoritative Representation (2004-2009).

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