Abstract

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Judicial Interpretation or Judicial Activism?: The Legacy of Rationalism in the Studies of the European Court of Justice


Andreas Grimmel


University of Hamburg / Europa Kolleg Hamburg

July 23, 2010

Harvard Center for European Studies Working Papers Series

Abstract:     
During the last two decades, law as a factor in European integration has attracted great scientific interest. Numerous studies and theoretical analyses have been published which have undertaken the task of examining and explaining the role of law in the progress of integration. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in particular, as Europe’s judiciary body, draws much attention in this context. However, the inflexible, mechanistic and universalistic notion of rationality that these works employ leads to serious misinterpretations and unjustified criticism regarding the role the ECJ takes in the course of integration. Within the frameworks of contemporary approaches the Court is perceived as just one more political player among other actors and institutions able to shape the EU in the pursuit of its own rational interests. By outlining the theoretical concept of context rationality, this article shows that the logics of law and judicial law making are based on a non-trivial and non-political rationality and cannot be understood appropriately without paying attention to the context of European law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: European Court of Justice, ECJ, European integration, law, integration through law, rationalism, rationality, context rationality

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Date posted: May 27, 2010 ; Last revised: June 6, 2013

Suggested Citation

Grimmel, Andreas, Judicial Interpretation or Judicial Activism?: The Legacy of Rationalism in the Studies of the European Court of Justice (July 23, 2010). Harvard Center for European Studies Working Papers Series. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1616805 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1616805

Contact Information

Andreas Grimmel (Contact Author)
University of Hamburg / Europa Kolleg Hamburg ( email )
Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://www.andreas-grimmel.de
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