The 'Copy-Out' Debate in the Implementation of European Union Law in the United Kingdom

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The battle between those arguing for 're-write' and those arguing for 'copy-out' as approaches to the transposition of European Union obligations into domestic law of the United Kingdom was, inevitably, won by the copy-out movement at an early stage. Had positions been less entrenched, however, it is possible that a midway position might have been adopted, which would have been no less effective as a method of implementing EU law but would have been significantly more satisfactory for the users of UK legislation. Even now, it is not too late to retreat from a dogmatic extreme of copy-out, and to approach each set of implementing laws in a manner that best fits its circumstances and the nature of the legislation which it transposes.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2012

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  • Legisprudence aims at contributing to the improvement of legislation by studying the processes of legislation from the perspective of legal theory. The content of the journal covers legislation in a broad sense. This comprises legislation in both the formal and the material sense (from national and European parliaments, regulation, international law), and alternatives to legislation (covenants, sunset legislation, etc.). It also takes in regulation (pseudo-legislation, codes of behaviour and deontological codes, etc.). The journal is theoretical and reflective. Contributions to the journal make use of an interdisciplinary method in legal theory. Comparative and system transcending approaches are encouraged. Sociological, historical, or economic studies are taken into account to the extent that they are relevant from the perspective of interdisciplinary legal theory. Dogmatic descriptions of positive law are not taken into consideration.
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