Direct effect. Rethinking a classic of EC legal doctrine

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Series Details 3
Publication Date 2002
ISBN 90-76871-09-4
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Book abstract:

What is the current status of direct effect? This book questions whether or not it is out of date - in need of thorough review and embodiment as a keystone doctrine of EC Law.

The papers from an impressive array of contributors address various aspects of the doctrine. The creation of 'individual rights' and consequent impact on damages liability are explored by Angela Ward (University of Essex). The rule of consistent interpretation or construction as an offshoot of direct effect in its technical sense is addressed by Gerrit Betlem (University of Exeter). The wider sense of direct effect and its special quality as a tool of communication with other legal systems are considered. Jans and Prinssen (University of Amsterdam) examine differences and similarities in the application of the doctrine of direct effect by the various national courts and assert that direct effect does not call for uniformity. The impact on German and French Courts is dealt with by Jorg Gekrath (Avignon University), contrasting the open style of German legal order with the closed and national sensitivities of the French Court whilst concluding that each in its own way accepts the principle of direct effect of EC law.

The next two contributions address the relationship between public international law, domestic law and EC law respectively. André Nollkaemper (University of Amsterdam) compares direct effect in public international law and EC law. Jan Wouters and Dries Van Eeckhoutte (Leuven University) raise the question 'whether and under which conditions the Community courts accept the invocability of customary international law'. Both contributions illustrate the communicative tool aspect of direct effect.

The importance of direct effect both now and in the future is explored in the last two papers. Tom Eijsbouts (University of Amsterdam) claims direct effect to be a 'constitutional founding stone' of the EC and Pieter Jan Kuijper (University of Amsterdam and European Commission) emphasises the practical side and asserts that for all its frustrations and lack of coherence direct effect is here to stay.

The work will be valued by students, scholars and practitioners of European and International Law.

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