Chapter 3: Harmonisation through general principles of law
Restricted access

This chapter sets out to demonstrate how the reception of general principles of law contributes to the harmonisation of legal orders. Due to their normative properties, such principles give coherence, direction and inspiration for the further development of the law. These processes are not restricted to principles that have been received due to a supra- or international legal obligation. As the example of EU law shows, general principles that have been introduced into the national legal orders of member states in areas where EU law applies have an 'inspiring' effect that often leads to a spill-over into areas of law beyond the reach of EU law, thus contributing to further approximation of member states' legal orders. These effects can also be observed outside the supranational context of the EU, as will be illustrated by recourse to the transnational reception and cooperative further development of general principles by courts in international human rights law and international criminal law. Finally, it will be demonstrated how also international treaties and the forces of globalisation can 'inspire' national legal orders to appropriate general principles that originate from another legal order.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account