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The Problem of Justice in the EU: Values, Pluralism and Critical Legal Justice

Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (eds) J Dickson and P Eleftheriadis (Oxford University Press: 2012)

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 77/2014

45 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2014  

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Queen Mary University of London

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

Achieving justice in the EU is problematic. The many differences between Member State legal systems, and their varied attitudes towards, for example, redistribution of wealth, render an overarching concept of justice for the EU seemingly unattainable. Indeed, the complex, pluralist landscape of EU law and governance, with its fragmented lines of authority and near invisible accountabilities, seems to render injustice all the more likely. Further, it might seem that the concept of justice itself is pluralist, capable of many understandings and interpretations. How is justice achievable, given this complexity? Yet EU law must seek to promote justice – what would we say of a legal system that did not seek to do so? In this chapter, I argue for justice as a value to be promoted by the EU. In order to aid its realisation, I argue for the recasting and reimagining of the rule of law as Critical Legal Justice - a vibrant concept of justice able to span the Byzantine complexities of the EU.

Keywords: EU, justice, values, human rights, rule of law, pluralism, political philosophy

Suggested Citation

Douglas-Scott, Sionaidh, The Problem of Justice in the EU: Values, Pluralism and Critical Legal Justice (January 1, 2012). Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (eds) J Dickson and P Eleftheriadis (Oxford University Press: 2012); Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 77/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458558

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

School of Economics and Finance
Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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