Public Law: Towards a Post-National Model

Gunnar Folke Schuppert

in Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262955
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734465 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Public Law: Towards a Post-National Model

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The enactment and enforcement of law is regarded as one of the most important attributes of sovereign statehood. Traditionally, ‘sovereignty’ has been understood as meaning the special quality of a state expressed in its ability to shape its own legal system and to enforce it within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction. Hence, the question of the extent to which member states of the European Union are still masters of their legal systems turns out to be a crucial test of their sovereignty. This chapter argues that the legal system of Germany is a Europeanized legal system, in terms both of a European modification of national laws and of a Europeanization of legal culture and modes of governance. This argument takes the form of testing the degree of Europeanization in six different cases, including the field of constitutional law. The conclusion is that the legal system of Germany is a Europeanized legal system and that the German legal profession is quite aware of this development.

Keywords: law enforcement; sovereignty; German legal system; Europeanization; constitutional law

Chapter.  6746 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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