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Introduction: the Jigsaw Puzzle of Europe

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which is a study about European diversity and its commonalities. The book focuses on the legal culture of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR). The ECHR is the most effective supervisory machine for human rights in Europe. Europe is constantly defined in terms of its history. Traditions and ideologies are deeply rooted in the past. The chapter presents a historical overview that provides the reader with a broader basis to better understand the constant current debates in legal scholarship. The author argues that a common legal culture, or mentality, brings the judges together, and permeates the entire system of the ECHR. However, Europe is still a jigsaw puzzle of legal thought. It is still divided into jigsaw pieces of legal systems, legal education and legal tradition.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); European diversity; legal culture



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