Resisting the European Court of Justice

Resisting the European Court of Justice : West Germany's Confrontation with European Law, 1949-1979

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The European Union's (EU) powerful legal framework drives the process of European integration. The Court of Justice (ECJ) has established a uniquely effective supranational legal order, beyond the original wording of the Treaty of Rome and transforming our traditional understanding of international law. This work investigates how these fundamental transformations in the European legal system were received in one of the most important member states, Germany. On the one hand, Germany has been highly supportive of political and economic integration; yet on the other, a fundamental pillar of the post-war German identity was the integrity of its constitutional order. How did a state whose constitution was so essential to its self-understanding subscribe to the constitutional practice of EU law? How did a country who could not say 'no' to Europe become the member state most reluctant to accept the new power of the ECJ?
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 113951265X
  • 9781139512657

Table of contents

1. Between sovereignty and integration: West Germany, European integration, and the constitutionalization of European law; 2. Conditional acceptance or accepted condition? West German legal academia and the constitutionalization of European law, 1949-79; 3. National vs. supranational: West German public opinion towards the constitutionalization of European law, 1949-79; 4. Competition and competencies: the West German government's response to the constitutionalization of European law, 1949-79; 5. Dealing with the fallout: German and European responses to the Solange decision; 6. Legal integration in Europe, the US, and beyond.
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Review quote

'This book furnishes important historical evidence to back the theory that the development of fundamental rights protection in the European Union has been strongly influenced by national constitutional debates. ... In fact, European law never has been one-way traffic, nor should it be.' Peter J. Cullen, International Affairs
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About Bill Davies

Bill Davies is a legal historian focusing on the development of a constitutional practice of law in the European Union. He holds a PhD from King's College, London and currently works as an Assistant Professor in Justice, Law and Society in the School of Public Affairs at the American University, Washington DC. He has published on the German role in the formation of the European legal system in the Journal of European Integration History and the Contemporary European History Journal.
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