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International Law and the European Court of Justice: The Politics of Avoiding History
Erpelding, Michel
2020In Journal of the History of International Law, 22 (2-3), p. 446-472
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Keywords :
EU law; history of international law; colonial law
Abstract :
[en] Using the example of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), this article addresses the lack of historical contextualization which is prevalent in most general accounts of EU law and EU institutions. It argues that this narrative is the result of a tradition established by the founders of the discipline. For these early ‘Euro-lawyers’, distinguishing the practice of European institutions from earlier international institutions had important political implications. This was especially true with regard to the ECJ. By providing a selective and partly decontextualized narrative of this court and describing it as largely unprecedented in international law, early Euro-lawyers were not only able to bolster the ‘supranational’ and ‘sui generis’ character of their nascent discipline. They were also able to avoid comparisons between the ECJ and prior international courts and tribunals whose similarly wide-ranging powers and integrated nature had been considered as politically problematic.
Disciplines :
Metalaw, Roman law, history of law & comparative law
European & international law
Author, co-author :
Erpelding, Michel  ;  Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law > Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution > Senior Research Fellow
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
International Law and the European Court of Justice: The Politics of Avoiding History
Publication date :
21 October 2020
Event name :
Politics and the Histories of International Law
Event organizer :
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
Event place :
Heidelberg, Germany
Event date :
from 15-02-2019 to 16-02-2019
Journal title :
Journal of the History of International Law
Publisher :
Brill, Leiden, Netherlands
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Focus Area :
Law / European Law
Available on ORBilu :
since 15 October 2021


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