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Article

The Values of the European Union Legal Order

Constitutional Perspectives

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords European Union, constitutional values, jurisprudence, rule of law, treaty objectives
Authors Timothy Moorhead
AbstractAuthor's information

    At the heart of the European Union legal order lie values directed collectively to the idea of European integration. As a body with significant governmental and lawmaking powers, the Union also presents itself as an institution based upon the rule of law. The Union ‘constitution’ therefore expresses both regulatory powers direct­ed towards European integration as well as rule of law principles whose scope of application is limited by the terms of the Treaties. In this article I consider how this distinctive amalgam of values operates as a constitution for the European Union, by comparison with domestic constitutional values within the Member States. I also consider how Union constitutional demands condition and inform the legal practices of the Court of Justice. Here I identify the interpretive effects of superior Union laws –‍ the core Treaty objectives as well as rule of law principles found within the General Principles ‍– as of particular significance in developing the legal influences of the entire Union project of integration.


Timothy Moorhead
Associate Lecturer, University of Kent.
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