Essays on Autonomy, Legality and Pluralism in European law


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This dissertation comprises eight articles about the role of autonomy, legality and pluralism in European law, in particular the law of the European Union (EU). The first two chapters are about the foundations of the EU legal system. Chapter 2 analyses the doctrine of the supremacy of EU law over conflicting national law. Chapter 3 focuses more generally on the creation and development of the EU legal system by reference to H.L.A. Hart’s theory of law. This chapter aims to show how the case-law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) about autonomy, direct effect and supremacy can be understood as a normative formulation of a “rule of recognition”. Chapter 4 concerns the EU internal market case-law of the ECJ. The autonomy of EU law entails that the interpretation and meaning of EU internal market law can only be known on the basis of ECJ decisions, which only clarify the law with respect to concrete cases. Chapter 5 focuses on the role of legality in the case-law on direct effect of directives. This chapter introduces a new theory which is capable of explaining the horizontal and inverse vertical direct effect jurisprudence. Chapters 6, 7 and 8, finally, focus on the role of pluralism and autonomy in the interaction between (EU) law and morality. The concluding chapter closes with some final observations about the usefulness of abstract legal theory for the study of European law and the functioning of the EU legal system.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Gormley, Laurence, Supervisor
  • Kochenov, Dimitry, Supervisor
Datum van toekenning6-jan.-2020
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
Gedrukte ISBN's978-94-034-2247-3
Elektronische ISBN's978-94-034-2246-6
StatusPublished - 2020

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