The European Court and Legal Integration: An Exceptional Story or Harbinger of the Future?

Karen J. Alter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) was established as part of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1950, and later adapted as part of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. The most important design feature of the ECJ proved to be the "preliminary ruling mechanism," intended to provide national courts with technical support in interpreting complex European law. In practice, preliminary ruling references provided a means for the ECJ to insert itself into national debates regarding the relationship of European law to national law, and to harness national courts as enforcers of ECJ decisions. This article explores the ECJ's role in European integration and locates its remarkable experience in the larger context of international courts and international law. It also discusses comparative politics and the role of the ECJ as an interlocutor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191576980
ISBN (Print)9780199208425
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2008

Keywords

  • Comparative politics
  • ECJ
  • European law
  • Integration
  • International courts
  • International law
  • Preliminary ruling mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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