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Precedents and Case-Based Reasoning in the European Court of Justice
Unfinished Business


  • Author: Marc Jacob, Shearman & Sterling LLP, Frankfurt
  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107045491

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About the Authors
  • Past cases are the European Court of Justice's most prominent tool in making and justifying the rulings and decisions which affect the everyday lives of more than half a billion people. Marc Jacob's detailed analysis of the use of precedents and case-based reasoning in the Court uses methods such as doctrinal scholarship, empirical research, institutional analysis, comparative law and legal theory in order to unravel and critique the how and why of the Court's precedent technique. In doing so, he moves the wider debate beyond received 'common law' versus 'civil law' figments and 'Eurosceptic' versus 'Euromantic' battle lines, and also provides a useful blueprint for assessing and comparing the case law practices of other dispute resolution bodies.

    • Helps readers appreciate the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as a political and judicial entity situated in a specific institutional context
    • Critiques the ECJ's methods and suggests ways in which they could be strengthened, thereby providing much-needed academic sustenance to the classic but staid 'judicial activism' debate
    • Proposes a way of thinking about judicial precedents and case-based reasoning that will appeal to anyone interested in courts and tribunals and dispute resolution, irrespective of the particular forum
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… provides a valuable and highly approachable exposition of the normativity of precedent (stare decisis) from both civil and common law perspectives to non-domestic international and EU law ones.' Suvi Sankari, Common Market Law Review

    '[This book] presents a differentiated and multifaceted picture of the way in which the European Court approaches the question of precedent. Referring to, distinguishing, and overruling precedent are depicted as diverse and multifunctional techniques of legal reasoning. … Marc Jacob has written a highly insightful study, which will be of interest for anyone interested in precedent within the context of the European Union and beyond.' Mehrdad Payandeh, International Journal of Constitutional Law

    '… provide[s] important insights into the use of precedents in the case law of international arbitral tribunals and the European Court of Justice.' Niels Petersen, European Journal of International Law

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107045491
    • length: 351 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Setting precedents: law made in Luxembourg
    3. Determining the essence of ECJ precedents
    4. Precedent application by the ECJ
    5. Avoiding ECJ precedents I: distinguishing
    6. Avoiding ECJ precedents II: departing
    7. ECJ precedents in context
    8. The normativity of ECJ precedents
    9. Conclusions and suggestions.

  • Author

    Marc Jacob, Shearman & Sterling LLP, Frankfurt
    Marc Jacob is a member of the international arbitration group of a leading international law firm, where he advises and represents sovereign and corporate entities in investment treaty disputes and cross-border commercial arbitrations. He is also a lecturer at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

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