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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses three primary roles of comparative law in EU law. First, comparative law is used in the making and application of European law: for example, in the crafting and interpretation of European legislation and in the case law of the European Court of Justice. Second, European law has exerted a significant influence on other legal systems. A third role of comparative law relates to questions about the very nature of European law: how it is to be classified, or whether it is a novel form of ‘transnational law’. Civil and common law systems are also considered in relation to comparative law, along with the ‘components’ or ‘sources’ of European law: treaty provisions and constitutional principles, EU legislation, general principles of law, international law, and case law of the Court. The chapter concludes with an overview of the distinction between private law and public law, a comparison of EU and federal systems, and a survey of other transnational systems inspired by the European Union model.

Keywords: case law, civil law, common law, comparative law, European Court of Justice, European law, European Union, international law, private law, public law

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