EU Law Stories: Contextual and Critical Histories of European Jurisprudence
EU Law Stories provides its readers with a “behind the scenes” look at how various actors influence legal decision-making within the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Recently, the CJEU has played an increasingly important role in the EU since its creation in the 1950s. The Court’s jurisprudential record informs EU Member States as to how EU law is to be interpreted and what types of actions are permissible (or impermissible). The CJEU did not always play such a prominent role in the interpretation and legality of EU policy; indeed, the Court’s power has increased over the last few decades. As a result, this book is an important addition to the library of academics, policy makers, and legal practitioners who would like an “insider’s look” at legal decision-making.
EU Law Stories demonstrates that the CJEU’s decision-making does not occur in a vacuum; rather, it is informed by a wide variety of actors and circumstances both in Luxembourg and in the Member States. Moreover, decision-making is not linear and constant, but is instead a back-and-forth conversation between local courts, national courts, and the CJEU. These conversations underscore the tensions that exist between the CJEU and its judicial counterparts at the local, national and transnational levels. Indeed, much of this book’s contribution to existing scholarship is to illustrate the ongoing tug-of-war between the CJEU and EU Member States, as the former latter asserts the supremacy of EU law over national law, but also how national legal traditions re-appear in the jurisprudential fabric of the CJEU judgments. The thick, contextual histories provided by EU Law Stories weave a colorful tapestry that shows illustrates how the CJEU has emerged to be the powerful, supranational Court that it is today.
Finally, EU Law Stories touches upon a multiplicity of topics that have contemporary importance. These topics include the CJEU’s jurisprudence on migration policy (including the right to free movement, family reunification, and EU citizenship), reproductive rights, freedom of expression, competition and company law, the constitutionalization of private law, and rule of law challenges to Hungary’s democracy and Italian’s media law. In short, EU Law Stories is an essential for anyone who seeks a greater understanding of the CJEU’s decision-making and how the Court and its interlocutors have garnered such strength in the face of national resistance or support for its jurisprudence.