Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner
Chapter 3: The problems associated with the implementation of directives into national legal systems − a few examples from the codified legal traditions
The implementation of directives into national legal systems is a process with a level of difficulty which depends on the kind of legal tradition of the relevant national law. The implementation causes especially serious problems for systems based on codification which emphasise the requirement of internal coherency. The need to find a similar solution for similar problems is common for the different legal traditions since it should be regarded as the fundamental requirement for justice. However, the way of realising this requirement is not common to the various legal families and also the understanding of this principle may vary not only from system to system, but also from country to country. In the continental legal traditions, this ideal should be attained through coherent legislation – in the best case through an all-encompassing code. The idea of a complete civil code has, however, never been fully accomplished. In the codified systems, the process of 'decodification' has been identified. A growing amount of legislation directly affecting private law relationships is being adopted outside of the code. However, it is then often a typical process that once the amount of this non-codified private law legislation reaches a certain level, the law-makers try to recodify the law. Hence, the process of codification, decodification and recodification are quite characteristic for the life circles of the civil law systems.
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