German Judicial Acceptance of European Law Supremacy
Germany is a clear example of how judicial rivalries and divergent judicial preferences regarding European legal issues have shaped the process of doctrinal change. Divergent preferences created a dynamic of legal integration that both propelled the expansion of European law into the national sphere and created limits to its reach in the national sphere. While full doctrinal agreement has not been achieved, German courts and the political actors have thus far found ways to accept the legal substance of European Court of Justice (ECJ) decisions and keep legal tensions from rupturing and undermining the authority of European law and the ECJ. This chapter traces the negotiation process in Germany. Section I identifies the main actors in Germany and their preferences in European legal issues. Section II explains the evolution of the German doctrinal debate over time, divided into rounds in which the debate developed. Section III explains how the German experience contributed to European integration.
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