Conflict of Norms and Legal Reasoning in the European Union Law

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CONFLICT OF NORMS IN EUROPEAN UNION LAW AND THE LEGAL
REASONING OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE
A thesis submitted for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy
by
Gerard Martin Conway

School of Law
Brunel University
December 2010

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Abstract: This thesis examines the topic of conflict of norms in European Union (EU) law and the legal reasoning of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), arguing that the framework of conflict of norms provides conceptual insight into justification and the role of value choices in legal reasoning. After examining the theory of conflict of norms, which seems to have been relatively under-studied generally and especially in EU law, it examines three particular aspects of norm conflict resolution in the legal reasoning of the ECJ and EU law: conflict of interpretative norms, especially the opposition between conserving and innovative interpretation; conflicts of human rights norms, looking in particular at the idea of a hierarchy of rights and of specificationism in the articulation of rights; and conflicts of competence norms. It concludes that the scope exists for a fuller justification of the choice of norms in the legal reasoning of the ECJ and generally in EU law and offers a perspective on how the values articulated by the EU suggest particular approaches to norm conflict resolution by the ECJ in its decision-making in these fields, in particular, a greater resort to lex specialis and originalist or historical interpretation, in contrast to its current method.

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Summary Table of Contents
Notes and Acknowledgments…………………………………………………………......x Table of Abbreviations………………………………………………………………......xii Table of Treaties and Legislation……………………………………………………...xvi Table of Cases…………………………………………………………………………...xix Chapter 1 – Values and Conflicts of Norms in EU Law and the Legal Reasoning of the European Court of Justice – Introduction and Framework………...................................................................................................1 Chapter 2 –Reasons for Norm Conflict in EU Law...............................................14 Chapter 3 – Conflicts of Norms in Legal Reasoning and Values in EU Law ………………………………………………………………………………………………66 Chapter 4 – Conflicts of Interpretative Norms in the Legal Reasoning of the ECJ ……………………………………………………………………………………………..127 Chapter 5 – Conflicts of Fundamental Values in EU Law and the Legal Reasoning of the ECJ ………………………………………………………………………………..207 Chapter 6 – Conflicts of Competence Norms in EU Law and the Legal Reasoning of the ECJ...................................................................................................………267 Chapter 7 – Conclusion………………………………………………………………...329 Appendix I – Translation……………………………………………………………….340 Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………......351

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Detailed Table of Contents
Notes and Acknowledgments……………………………………………………….........x Table of Abbreviations………………………………………………………………......xii Table of Treaties and Legal Instruments…………………………………..………....xv Table of Cases…………………………………………………………………………..xviii Chapter 1 – Values and Conflicts of Norms in EU Law and the Legal Reasoning of the ECJ

1.1 Introduction: Scope and Subject Matter …………………..1 1.2 Summaries of Content of Chapters..........………………...10

Chapter 2 –Reasons for Norm Conflict in EU Law
2.1 Reasons for Norm Conflict Inherent in Any Legal
System…......................................................................…......14 2.1.1 The Temporal Element……………………...………...14 2.1.2 Vagueness and Generality……………………...……..15 2.1.3 Complexity of Subject Matter………………...............16 2.1.4 Value Pluralism……………………………..…...........16 2.1.5 Discontinuity in the Identity of the Law-Maker….......18 2.2 Reasons for Norm Conflict particular to EU Law…….........20 2.2.1 Linguistic Diversity.......................................................20 2.2.2 The ‘Supranational’ Doctrines of Direct Effect

and Supremacy and the Logic of the ‘Integration...
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