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Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law$
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Julie Dickson and Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588770.001.0001

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The Problem of Justice in the European Union

The Problem of Justice in the European Union

Values, Pluralism, and Critical Legal Justice*

(p.412) 16 The Problem of Justice in the European Union
Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

Oxford University Press

Achieving justice in the EU is problematic. The many differences between Member State legal systems and their varied attitudes render an overarching concept of justice for the EU seemingly unattainable. Indeed, the complex, pluralist landscape of EU law and governance, with its fragmented lines of authority and near invisible accountabilities, seems to render injustice all the more likely. Further, it might seem that the concept of justice itself is pluralist, capable of many understandings and interpretations. How is justice achievable, given this complexity? Yet EU law must seek to promote justice—what would we say of a legal system that did not seek to do so? This chapter argues for justice as a value to be promoted by the EU. In order to aid its realization, it suggests the recasting and reimagining of the rule of law as Critical Legal Justice—a vibrant concept of justice able to span the Byzantine complexities of the EU.

Keywords:   EU law, justice, legal systems, pluralism, Member States, rule of law, critical legal justice

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