Who Has the Final Say? The Relationship Between International, EU and National Law
European Journal of Legal Studies - 10th Anniversary Conference Special Issue 2018, 47-100
54 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 2, 2018
A key focus of much scholarly attention is on the (theoretical) relationship between legal orders. The practical question I intend to answer in this article is the following: how can we know who has the final say – international, European Union (EU) or national law? I proceed in three steps. First, I critically sketch major current theories – monism and dualism, as well as global legal pluralism and global constitutionalism. However, because none of them offers a satisfactory answer to the question posed, I move to the reconceptualization stage of the theoretical relationship between legal orders. In the second step, I offer my account of how to think about the relationship between legal orders by introducing the theory of the law creators' circle (TLCC). The TLCC provides a theoretical foundation for deciding on the source of the decisive norm. It does not, however, provide a general solution which fits any norm conflict stemming from overlapping legal orders. Thus, the purpose of this article is to develop a legal theory which facilitates the understanding of the interaction between international law, EU and national law. Third, I use a doctrinal analysis to show the results of the TLCC application. For instance, in the famous Kadi saga, according to the TLCC, the EU should have either claimed that the UN Security Council was acting ultra vires or considered the UN Security Council Resolution faulty because UN human rights (instead of EU human rights) had been violated.
Keywords: Monism, Dualism, Global Legal Pluralism, Global Constitutionalism, TLCC, Relationship Between Legal Orders, International – EU – National Law
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