Giving Effect to Public International Law and European Community Law before Domestic Courts: A Comparative Analysis of the Practice of Consistent Interpretation

European Journal of International Law, Vol. 14, pp. 569-589, 2003

21 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2009

See all articles by Andre Nollkaemper

Andre Nollkaemper

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Gerrit Betlem

University of Soputhampton - School of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper explores the differences between and the similarities of how domestic courts - mainly the Dutch - apply two distinct forms of non-domestic law: public international law and European Community law. The article focuses on the application of the principle that in both areas dominates practice: the principle that courts should, whenever possible, construe national law in conformity with, respectively, public international law and European Community law. The article systematically compares how courts employ this principle. On the basis of a detailed analysis of the relevant national case law and the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), it is argued that there is no fundamental divide between the application of public international law and EC law (despite the theoretically opposing starting points); differences in application are a matter of degree not of principle. The principle of consistent interpretation proves to be effective and of great practical importance in both areas and further testifies of the similarities in the impact of the two areas on domestic law.

Keywords: EU law, public international law, consistent interpretation

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Nollkaemper, Andre and Betlem, Gerrit, Giving Effect to Public International Law and European Community Law before Domestic Courts: A Comparative Analysis of the Practice of Consistent Interpretation (September 1, 2009). European Journal of International Law, Vol. 14, pp. 569-589, 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1465624

Andre Nollkaemper

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/p.a.nollkaemper/

Gerrit Betlem (Contact Author)

University of Soputhampton - School of Law ( email )

Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.soton.ac.uk/law/

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