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 9: Triangular constitutionalism: some consequences of constitutional pluralism for domestic constitutional thought

Tom Flynn

Abstract

Though constitutional pluralism has become well established as a way of thinking about EU constitutional law, its lessons have yet to be properly internalised in national constitutional discourse. The aim of the ‘triangular constitutionalism’ outlined here is threefold. The first aim is to wean national constitutional thought off the solipsism that imagines that national constitutions can be thought of and engaged with in isolation, cut off from the European legal orders. The second is to provide a theoretically sound framework for the application of constitutional pluralist thought within a given legal order, rather than from an unmoored and freestanding epistemic perspective. The third and final is to offer an account of the interactions between legal orders in Europe that does not depend only on isolated cases of conflict between powerful actors (though these can be important), but also on the daily workings of constitutionalism, at the periphery as much as at the centre.

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