New Perspectives on Law and Institutions in Europe
New Horizons in Law and Economics series
Edited by Alain Marciano and Jean-Michel Josselin
Chapter 2: On 'Legal Choice' and legal competition in a federal system of justice. Lessons for European legal integration
2. On ‘Legal Choice’ and legal competition in a federal system of justice. Lessons for European legal integration Sophie Delabruyère2 INTRODUCTION For several decades, European member states have been involved in a progressive and extensive process of integration concerning commercial and economic dimensions, monetary aspects, but also regarding legal and judicial services. The issue of European Legal Integration nowadays takes the form of discussions concerning the emergence of the ‘European Judicial Area’. Among the diverse questions that arise in this perspective, one deals with the future shape of this judicial area: does European legal integration necessarily imply a centralized system of justice or, on the contrary, can we consider that the existence and preservation of ‘decentralized’ legal systems, namely the coexistence of national legal systems in the European Union, is another way, maybe more efficient, to achieve legal integration? It has frequently been argued that the relations between national legal systems on the one hand, and relations between national systems and the European legal order on the other (relations which can be either competitive or cooperative3) fully take part in the process of legal integration in Europe. The achievement of the Single European Market, with the removal of diverse barriers, implies free movement of goods, services, capital and citizens between member states. This mobility of agents, associated with the fact that the national legal and judicial systems remain in force in Europe, contribute to 2 Laboratoire CERAS-EDJ (Economie-Droit-Justice), Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, UFR de Sciences Economiques, 57 bis...
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