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Margin of Appreciation Revisited: The Balancing Pole of Multilevel Governance

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Chapter Summary

One topic of overarching relevance that immediately comes to mind is the legal concept 'margin of appreciation', which is employed to acknowledge differences, yet organize cooperation and coexistence of different actors, institutions and governance levels. The margin of appreciation concept is the balancing pole that ensures the successful performance of this tight rope walk. For each well-known concept, the dogmatic content and the exact definition of the margin of appreciation as used by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and its limitations are rarely addressed. The margin of appreciation methodology should not be addressed as an international law concept that came out of nowhere. Consequently, it should be seen as a concept firmly rooted in the national law context of civil law jurisdictions. This ancestry will regularly be able to provide guidance, when it comes to putting the methodology to practice internationally in the present and in future.

Keywords: Appreciation; Balancing Pole; civil law jurisdictions; European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); international law concept; Margin; Multilevel Governance; national law context



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