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06 August 2013

BOOK: Towards a European Legal Culture

Geneviève Helleringer and Kai Purnhagen, Towards a European Legal Culture, Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2013. 

Presentation by the editor:


European harmonisation efforts such as a European civil code, European constitutional treaties, European principles, and European fundamental rights are frequently criticised for building on or creating a European legal culture that does not exist; in reality what we have is European legal pluralism. Some have argued that the pluralistic structure of European law hinders the development of a community, which is a necessary requirement for a European legal culture. And if there can be no common European legal culture then there is no basis for harmonising exercises. 

The contributors to this book explore in different legal areas whether in fact the contrary is true. Cultural pluralism might indeed be a distinctive feature of European legal culture. Diversity is not something that is in opposition to, but rather constitutes a new, different understanding of European legal culture. The contributions demonstrate in detail how such an approach inter alia in the areas of private, corporate, administrative and constitutional law furthers understanding of a developing European legal culture, how it offers theoretical and doctrinal insights, and how it adds critical perspective. 

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