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The article provides a meta-analysis of the structural impact of digitalization on international law. It synthesizes the contributions of this special issue, showing how their findings are interrelated and which cross-cutting trends we can observe. It uses an analytical framework designed to assess structural changes in international law by analyzing the impact that digitalization has on key reference points: Actors, norms, and values. From this assessment, it draws the conclusion that digitalization is changing, and will continue to change structural features of international law.
The notion of legal space is increasingly being used to address the challenges of multiple and overlapping spheres of legality that the notion of legal order cannot capture. This article shows how legal space can serve as an alternative (or at least complementary) concept to legal order in view of the limitations of the latter. It sketches out a notion of legal space that is inspired by topology, an approach that analyses the qualitative nature of spaces. It is concerned with understanding the ways in which legalities interact, rather than with ‘measuring’ their spatial dimensions. A topology-inspired approach to legal space can contribute to conceptualizing, in a novel manner, the inner structure of legal spaces, the boundaries of these spaces and their interrelations with other spaces. It offers an analytical toolkit for better understanding multiple legalities, providing categories to characterize sets of legal elements as well as phenomena such as overlaps and hybridity. It is conceptually less constrained than the concept of legal order, and thus allows us to address various bodies of law ranging from classical domestic law, EU law and international law to global administrative law, corporate social responsibility law, platform law and lex sportiva.
This article discusses two landmark judgements by the German Federal Constitutional Court (CC) on the relationship between domestic and EU fundamental rights protection (Right to be forgotten I and II). In these judgements, for the first time, the CC uses EU fundamental rights as a standard of review. In addition, the CC establishes a novel framework of “parallel applicability” of EU and domestic fundamental rights for subject matters that are not fully harmonized by EU law. The article first presents the new approach, showing that it structurally changes the parameters of the relationship between the CC and the CJEU. Second, the article assesses the legal-political tendency reflected in this change: is this constructive dialogue or rather pushback against the CJEU? The article argues that this new jurisprudence should be characterized as an instance of resistance. The CC resists against the CJEU in its function as fundamental rights court, attempting to reduce the authority of the CJEU and reversing a development that it considered to be unfavourable to its own authority. This is structural pushback aimed at the CJEU’s function rather than at individual decisions or norms - however, without rejection the CJEU as an institution altogether.
This Article illustrates the functional and conceptual variances of law in different contexts. Whereas legal actors on the international level might normatively aim for law to have a similar effect to that of domestic law, the way in which international and supranational law can fulfill these potential functions is different. Accordingly, this Article argues that an awareness of the particularities and challenges that the potential functions of law encounter in the international and supranational context is needed. Moreover, it suggests an analytical lens to conceptually frame and locate current developments, offering a broader perspective on—or even an element of explication for—the apparent crisis that law is currently facing on the international and supranational scale. After describing the potential functions of law on an abstract scale and grouping them into analytical categories, the Article uses these categories as a lens in order to assess in which way international law can fulfill these potential functions, where priorities regarding certain functions might differ, and where some aspects of these functions are challenged when law is made and applied in the international and supranational sphere.
Interrelations between EU law and domestic law – Concept of a norm-based compound
structure – Intertwinement of legal norms and legal orders – Combined normativity
– Multi-level structure within the legal norms – Primacy, supremacy and ranking
of EU law and domestic law – Structural principles guiding the relationship between EU
law and domestic law – Principles of uniformity and constitutional identity
This article analyzes the interactions between norms formally stemming from different orders and regimes so as to demonstrate how and to what extent the legal spaces composing the transnational legal sphere are intertwined. Furthermore, it addresses the consequences of the intertwinement and suggests a fresh approach to the traditional concept of legal orders: it stresses a norm-centered rather than system-centered understanding of the transnational legal sphere. It argues for a norm-based strategy in order to understand the phenomenon of intertwinement, analytically deducing the relationship of the legal orders from the relationship of the legal norms.
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