EU soft law in the UK on the eve of Brexit: (not) much ado about nothing?

Mary Dobbs, Oana Stefan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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This chapter investigates the role of EU soft law instruments within the UK legal order. It considers the legal effects of these instruments, through examining case law and administrative practice in selected fields of the law. The purpose is twofold. First, the chapter seeks to determine whether the UK, as a common law jurisdiction, is more likely to apply EU soft law nationally, and what the consequent impact is upon the role of soft law. Data indicates that where these instruments are utilised, they have a strong interpretative role, but that the initial use of such instruments is pure coincidence, and there is no guarantee that all instruments will be utilised where relevant. Second, in the context of Brexit, the chapter sheds light on the future of EU soft law in the UK. In particular, following interviews with judges and public servants, the chapter distils a series of criteria that will ensure a more consistent, methodological and legitimate application of relevant EU soft law, including in a post-Brexit context. In the interests of legal certainty, the chapter argues that it would be sensible for the UK Government to incorporate relevant and beneficial EU soft law instruments within national soft or hard law to ensure their continued application.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU soft law in the member states: theoretical findings and empirical evidence
EditorsMariolina Eliantonio, Emilia Korkea-aho, Oana Ştefan
PublisherHart Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781509932047, 9781509932054
ISBN (Print)9781509946655, 9781509932030
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameEU Law in the Member States


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