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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with legal reasoning in EU law and the various contexts underlying differences in the standards of legal reasoning: namely, adjudication, legislative law making, and legal doctrine and public discourse. It first explains the variety of legal reasoning in EU law, with emphasis on the link between legal reasoning and reason giving. It then considers legal reasoning in the context of the decision making of the European Court of Justice, focusing on discovery and justification and their mutual interaction. In the context of discovery, it discusses several steps a reasoner takes (defining the case, finding a tentative solution and articulating reasons), whereas in relation to justification it identifies several elements of its doctrine: sources of law, methods of interpreting the sources of law, rules on the legal construction of relevant facts, and finally meta-rules concerning the relationship between the other elements. The chapter finally offers some observations on the judicial style of the ECJ.

Keywords: legal reasoning, EU, adjudication, legal doctrine, reason giving, EU law, European Court of Justice, discovery, justification, judicial style

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