Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law
Show Less

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 18: Interpretative pluralism within EU law

Gareth Davies


This chapter puts forward the idea of interpretative pluralism. It suggests that when EU law and national constitutional law seem to be in tension this should not be resolved through hierarchy, but rather through interpretation. The apparent obstacle to this is the view that the Court of Justice is the authoritative interpreter of EU law. Yet this view is at odds with the principle of attribution, since it allows the EU to determine its own powers, and also with the principle common to many European legal systems that one judge does not bind another. Rather, each judge faced with European law should interpret it autonomously, taking the views of other judges seriously, but reaching their own conclusion. If this leads to judicial disagreements, that is a normal feature of legal systems. What it encourages is a collective dialogue about what the law means, which is far more constructive than thinking about which law is top.

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

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.