Domestic legal infrastructures and member state observations

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Series Details Vol.17, No.3, 2018, p.466–485
Publication Date September 2018
ISSN 1680-4333 (print) | 1682-0983 (online)
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We investigate the role of domestic legal infrastructures on Member State behavior at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Article 234 cases from 1961 to 2006.

The ECJ issues preliminary rulings on the interpretation of European Union (EU) law when requested to do so by national judges, which promotes consistent application of EU law within national legal orders as well as a larger legal discourse about the scope and boundaries of integration.

Scholarly interest in Article 234 observations arises from the consequences of these cases for both Member State compliance and European integration. Using a new data set of Member State observations, we demonstrate that the number of observations submitted by non-party Member States is affected by the strength and weaknesses of domestic legal infrastructures that facilitate cases being brought before the Court.

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