Interpreting European Law - Judicial Adjudication in a Context of Constitutional Pluralism

20 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2008


This working paper examines the role of the Court of Justice in a context of constitutional pluralism, distinguishing between internal and external sources of pluralism in the European legal order. It briefly reviews the methods of interpretation employed by the Court of Justice with a focus on the importance of comparative law and teleological reasoning. It then focuses on the institutional constraints arising from the context of constitutional pluralism, in particular with regard to the relations among courts, where the interpretation of legal rules is only properly understood in the light of the interplay between courts and other actors. It also identifies the role of the Court in framing forms of institutional dialogue and securing the coherence and integrity of the EU legal order in a context of internal legal pluralism. Finally, it discusses how the external forms of pluralism may also require forms of judicial dialogue with other jurisdictions.

Keywords: Constitutional pluralism, EU law, European Court of Justice, European legal order, interpretation of legal rules

Suggested Citation

Maduro, Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa, Interpreting European Law - Judicial Adjudication in a Context of Constitutional Pluralism. Available at SSRN: or

Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa La Pagliaiuola
Via delle Palazzine, 19
San Domenico di Fiesole, FI 50014

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