Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law
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Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law

Edited by Gareth Davies and Matej Avbelj

The Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law explores the diversity of phenomenon of overlapping legal systems within the European Union, the nature of their interactions, and how they deal with the difficult question of the legal hierarchy between them. The contributors reflect on the history, sociology and legal scholarship on constitutional and legal pluralism, and develop this further in the light of the challenges currently facing the EU.
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Chapter 2: Claim-making and parallel universes: legal pluralism from Church and empire to statehood and the European Union

Poul F. Kjaer

Abstract

Legal pluralism was traditionally regarded as a ‘non-modern’ and ‘non-European’ phenomenon. It was only in the wake of the deepening of European integration from the Single Market and Economic and Monetary Union onwards that legal pluralism came to be considered a central feature of Europe. This chapter, however, argues that legal pluralism always has been an essential characteristic of modern Europe and of modern European law. That has been the case from the eleventh and twelfth-century Investiture Conflict between Church and Emperor over the overlapping claims of the emerging modern states and various empires until 1918 to the contemporary duality between the EU legal order and Member State legal orders. In other words: overlapping jurisdictions, acting as parallel universes, and mutually exclusive contrafactual claims to supremacy have always been central elements of modern European law.

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