Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 14

By Francis Geoffrey Jacobs | Go to book overview

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Traité institutant la CEE -- Commentaire article par article edited by Vlad Constantinesco , Jean-Paul Jacqué, Robert Kovar, and Denys Simon. Economica, Paris, 1992, 1636 pages, foreword, list of authors, contents; FF 750.

This hefty volume is the product of a collaborative effort by some sixty-five authors, for the most part academics at French-language universities, including a handful from Belgium and Switzerland, as well as a number of eminent judges in the field of Community law. The project was headed by four professors from the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, appropriately, as it was in part intended to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, as well as preparing the ground for the single market the year 1993 was to herald. Apart from a few articles on the same subject which are treated together, each provision of the EEC Treaty, as amended by the Single European Act (and the common provisions and Title III of the Single Act itself) is presented in a uniform format, comprising some indication of the origin and thinking behind the article, its contents, its development through legislation and the case-law of the Court of Justice, and, usually, a brief bibliography. To avoid excessive internal contradiction and/or overlap between commentaries on related articles, the responsibility for a single policy area or set of institutional provisions has generally been vested in one or two authors; this does not, of course, preclude healthy divergences of views on specific questions.

That an extensive and accurate familiarity with the ensemble of the provisions of the Treaty, rather than just those specifically dealing with a particular area of activity, is an invaluable asset for the Community lawyer is evident from a perusal of any volume of the reports of the Court of Justice or Court of First Instance; not only does the Community Court seek to interpret each provision in its context and in the light of the Treaty as a whole, taking account of any relevant provisions, but solutions adopted in one area of law can inspire the Court's reasoning in a completely separate domain. The global approach adopted by the Court and the possibility of cross-pollination of legal concepts certainly render the carrying out of a project such as the present volume more difficult; as the editors admit in the foreword, the very number of Treaty Articles and their uneven normative character and status, the abundance of secondary legislation and the importance of case-law for the evolution of Community

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