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The concept of proportionality in the law of the European Communities with comparative material from certain member states

Emiliou, Nicholaos; (1991) The concept of proportionality in the law of the European Communities with comparative material from certain member states. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

To compare the principle of proportionality on a legal basis in different legal systems presents almost insurmountable difficulties. A review of the relevant bibliography reveals that the concept of proportionality is vague and heavily discussed in most European legal systems. Obviously it is difficult to describe in abstract terms the precise meaning and scope of the principle in question. In this essay it is attempted to portray some general principles which form the substance of the basic idea of proportionality. A narrow approach to the content of the principle of proportionality may result into a very limited scope of examination. Some legal aspects which, in the opinion of others, come under the heading of proportionality could be neglected or even discarded. Thus the definition of proportionality adopted is quite broad essentially referring to the principle according to which public authorities shall take no action the overall costs of which are excessive in relation to its general benefits. Comparative study shows that the concept of proportionality seems to be most elaborate in Germany. This can be easily explained by the fact that it was the Prussian Administrative Tribunal that first recognized and applied the principle of proportionality. Originally designed as a legal limit on the police powers and later on the administration in general, it has been developed after the Second World War to a basic legal principle binding the executive, the judicial and even the legislative power. Different rules derived therefrom lead back to certain patterns of interest conflicts which must be solved in the legal systems included in this study. In this essay it is argued that proportionality involves the State-citizen relationship and could be considered as a response to the historical experience that public authorities, national and supranational, function with the tendency to impair the freedom of the individual.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The concept of proportionality in the law of the European Communities with comparative material from certain member states
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116961
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