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 8: Constitutional pluralism beyond monism and dualism

François-Xavier Millet


Dualism and monism are two grand theories aiming at providing a theoretical basis for the problem of the effectiveness of international law. By both adopting the domestic law point of view, neither doctrine allows us to grasp the current nature of the international legal order in general and of European law in particular. In this context, the chapter examines whether the seemingly antagonistic discourse of constitutional pluralism is apt to describe current legal trends. It will notably be argued that this discourse constitutes an update of dualism and monism. While the purely constitutionalist discourse insists on unity, the doctrines of constitutional pluralism seem to be able to explain the problems connected with the intermingling of legal orders in Europe by guaranteeing, through a constitutional framework, a certain unity in diversity.

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