Implications of Legal Harmonisation Projects on the Sovereignty of States

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the legal and political implications of harmonisation projects on the sovereignty of states. The chapter addresses relevant subject matter by following an eclectic and qualitative approach. Thus, due to the ever-increasing impact of legal harmonisation projects at the regional and global level, the chapter negotiates, on an indicative basis, certain case studies to the furtherance of its analytical goals. It concentrates on three analytical clusters: the European Union experience on the sovereignty of European states, e.g. through such leading legislation as the Treaty of Rome 1957 and the Treaty of Lisbon 2007; relevant Council of Europe experience, e.g. through such an instrument of law as the European Convention on Human Rights 1950, as this has been re-interpreted through subsequent case law; and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980, as this may be the subject matter of local adjudication without the existence of a central commercial court.

The chapter proceeds beyond mere legal norm and practice; it also examines the political realities upon which harmonised norms have been created, but also, more importantly, the political realities that such harmonised legal norms created and continue to create. In particular, acting on the hypothesis of a continuous legal and political give and take between sovereign states, it examines whether legal harmonisation projects which have been freely negotiated and entered into limit the sovereignty of their participants. At other times, the question is not whether such projects limit the sovereignty of states but rather whether states have been able to freely negotiate, agree, and choose to follow such projects and harmonised legal patterns or whether such projects are more the result of “legal contagion” and/or “competition of legal systems”. The wide-ranging constitutional, supranational, and public international law implications of such harmonised projects effectively terraform the political status quo of the states affected. This is negotiated throughout the analysis through the critical observation of relevant developments in the legal and the political arena to date.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJurisprudence and Sovereignty
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Harmonisation of Laws
  • Legal System
  • Sovereignty
  • European Law
  • International Law


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