Chapter 8

Chapter Summary:

This chapter deals with the different patterns of judiciary power. Different countries have adopted different systems. There are at least four law systems that have similarities, but have evolved from different traditions: the common law countries (UK, Ireland, Malta), the Napoleonic Code countries (France, Belgium, Luxembourg and latin Southern Europe), the Germanic law countries (Germany, Austria, partly Switzerland, Greece), the Nordic law countries (Scandinavia and Iceland) and the law systems in Central and Eastern Europe that are highly influenced by the Germanic law system.

In this chapter, a special section is dedicated to constitutional courts as the means to achieving constitutional review in Europe.

Questions for Revision:

What are the main judicial traditions in Europe? Discuss using examples from countries from each region.
• Compare the executive–judiciary relations in Italy and Germany
• Assess what kind of problems judiciaries have in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.
• Explain the role of constitutional courts in Europe. Discuss using examples of at least two countries.
• Is European integration eroding national judicial traditions? Discuss using examples from at least two countries.

Further Reading

Bell, John(2006), Judiciaries within Europe: A Comparative Review. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kapsis, Ilias (2007), The Courts of the European Union. In: Michelle Cini (ed.), European Union Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 188–201.

Stone Sweet, Alec (2000), Governing with Judges: Constitutional Politics in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
–––– (2004), The Judicial Construction of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Volcansek, Mary L. (ed.), Judicial Politics and Policy-Making in Western Europe. In West
European Politics, 15, July 1992,number 3,
Wilhelmsson, Thomas, Elina Paunio and Annika Pohjolainen (2007) (eds), Private Law and the Many Cultures of Europe, Amsterdam: Kluwer Law.

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