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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recommended lecture of the month - July 2013 - "L'Europe par les juges" (Europe by the judges) of Robert Lecourt, former President of the European Court of Justice

L'Europe par les juges - le portail des livres et des idées
This is an instrumental book regarding the key role that the European Court of Justice had in the creation of what is today the European Union.  Without the judges from Luxembourg and without their decisions, the European Union would certainly be less of an union today and lot of the benefits that the EU citizens now enjoy would not be available. 

Eric Stein, in an article signed in 1981 ("Lawyers, Judges, and the Making of a Transnational Constitution”, American Journal of International Law, 1981, no. 75, p. 1-27) noticed something that a few did at that time - namely that "Tucked away in the fairyland Duchy of Luxemburg and blessed, until recently, with the benign neglect by the powers that be and the mass media, the Court of Justice of the European Communities has fashioned a constitutional framework for a federal-type structure in Europe."
ECJ not only fashioned a constitutional framework for Europe but helped to build essential components, such as the internal market, through the competition rules. To give just one example of the role the judges from Luxembourg played in the competition enforcement, it must be recognized that the private enforcement, now high on the agenda of the European Commission and the European Parliament, would not be there without the landmark decisions which created the right to damages, almost ex novo, the same way the Roman praetors were doing.
Anyone who can get this book and is familiar with the French language (the book is not written in legal vocabulary), should read it.

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