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Europe’s law

The growing together of common law and code law systems is an unsung success story of the new Europe

By David Robertson   February 2002

The law of England and above all the common law, was once considered something fine and unique-independent of and superior to other legal jurisdictions. That unique body of law is now mutating into something else and many people are worried. Those people fear that specifically English doctrines, standards and methods of legal thought are being inexorably Europeanised so that a precious piece of our identity is disappearing.

The fear is not entirely misplaced. Decisions of the European Court of Justice (the highest court of the EU in Luxembourg) and the European Court of Human Rights (part of the Council of…

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