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Does Anything Hang on the Autonomy of EU law?

Letsas, George; (2024) Does Anything Hang on the Autonomy of EU law? European Papers , 8 (3) pp. 1293-1299. 10.15166/2499-8249/719. Green open access

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Abstract

Jurisprudential accounts of the autonomy of EU law have struggled to offer a compelling account of its unique features. Nevertheless, I argue that Ronald Dworkin’s court-centric methodological approach is better-suited than Hartian positivism to shed light on the notion that EU law is autonomous. This is because most questions about the autonomy of EU law, when asked from a positivist perspective, are of little or no practical significance and philosophical inquiry will inevitably be inconclusive. By contrast, the autonomy of EU law is routinely employed as a normative principle helping EU courts to decide the issue of which party should win the case at hand. It is better understood as a shorthand reference to a political requirement, namely that EU courts ought to identify the main values behind European integration and to build – as opposed to find in the extant legal materials – a coherent body of principles.

Type: Article
Title: Does Anything Hang on the Autonomy of EU law?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.15166/2499-8249/719
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.15166/2499-8249/719
Language: English
Additional information: © European 2023. All the works published on European Papers (e-Journal and European Forum) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Hart – Dworkin – interpretivism – legal positivism – legal systems – adjudication
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10188562
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