Discretion and Public Policy: Timing the Unity and Divergence of Legal Orders
This chapter views discretion not only as the scope of legal power, but also as power over the scope of the law. This sheds light on the process by which the EC and its Member States negotiate the unity and divergence of their respective legal orders in the context of the public policy exception. Section 2 considers the case law of the discretionary exercise of the public policy reserve to show that there is little hope of confirming the hypothesis of conceptual divergence. Drawing on Hans Kelsen's analysis of the indeterminacy of legal norms, Section 3 introduces the twofold sense of discretion. Section 4 situates discretion in a general theory of constituent and constituted power. Section 5 examines public policy in the light of this denser notion of discretion. Section 6 radicalizes the analysis of ‘playing for time’, suggesting that the negotiation of divergence does not merely take place in time but is also and perhaps primarily about the unity of time.
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