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Legal Pluralism in the EEA Legal Order: The EFTA Court’s Role in a Broader Institutional Context

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Chapter Summary

The author believes that a transfer of the theory of legal pluralism into the sphere of European Economic Area (EEA) law is necessary in order to account for the diversity within the EEA legal order in general, and the behaviour and practices of the EFTA Court and the EFTA States' national courts. This chapter maintains that the EFTA Court's restrictive approach to formal and material legal principles could be seen as symptomatic of the restrictive and formalistic approach taken in the Icelandic and Norwegian judiciary. Since the effectiveness of solutions offered by the EFTA Court hangs on their acceptance by the national courts, one should expect the EFTA Court to be concerned with maintaining a smoothly ­functioning judicial cooperation with the national courts and to refrain from issuing rulings that threaten standards that are of fundamental importance to the constitutional order and the balance of powers in the EFTA States.

Keywords: EFTA court; European Economic Area (EEA) law; legal pluralism; legal principles; national court; Norwegian Judiciary



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