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In-Between Worlds: Marleasing and the Emergence of Interlegality in Legal Reasoning

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Lawmakers and scholars are so busy looking for new ways to develop a European private law that they are failing to see the virtues of an already existing private law harmonisation tool. This tool is the requirement of interpretation in conformity with directives as it has been designed by the Court of Justice in Marleasing and its progeny. In this paper, it is submitted that this case law operating at the level of rules on legal reasoning, and not at the level of substantive law, is a far more sophisticated means of private law harmonisation than all the measures discussed in the last years. Namely, the requirement of interpretation in conformity with directives is allowing the Common Market to develop coherently without neglecting the significance of national legal cultures. How this difficult equilibrium between harmonisation and legal pluralism might be maintained by the tool the Court of Justice developed in Marleasing is explained in this paper with the help of evolutionary jurisprudence.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0386.2005.00286.x

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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