The Structure of European Union Law
Cambridge Yearbook of European Law, 2010
37 Pages Posted: 20 May 2010
Date Written: May 2010
Is the general structure of EU law a matter determined by its own constitutional principles? Many assume that this must be the case, because this is what we regularly expect from any order of constitutional law. A more careful look at the Treaty and the case law shows that the analogy does not work. There is no single set of constitutional principles that determines the application of EU law by the member states. Each state has its own principles. This clear division of labour between EU and national law poses a serious theoretical problem to those presenting EU law as directly analogous to constitutional law. A more careful study shows that the structure of EU law is very much like the structure of international law: dualist, not monist. Nevertheless, the dualist structure of EU law does not in any sense reduce its authority or legitimacy.
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