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Study of Legal Consciousness: Engagement, Passivity, or Resistance?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores and assesses the three embodiments of legal consciousness by means of six vignettes so as to test the particular forms of legal consciousness. The vignettes revolve around the issue of supremacy of European Union (EU) law. The personal testimonies proved that confining the discourse on the functioning of national judges as EU law judges to answering the question as to whether judges conform to the principle of supremacy of EU law is not a satisfactory approach, either for seeing how national courts function as decentralised EU courts or for assessing the varieties of legal consciousness. The vignettes show that a large number of judges would base their application of EU law on other factors, such as circumstances of the case, equality of the parties, the nature of the civil law dispute, and the coherence and consistency of the line of jurisprudence.

Keywords: civil law; EU courts; European Union (EU) law; legal consciousness; national courts; national judges



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