Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law




Author: Juergen Bast

Title: On the Grammar of EU Law: Legal Instruments


The paper is concerned with the instruments of EU law, the most important of which are regulations, directives, decisions, and addresseeless decisions sui generis. It demonstrates that some basic concepts that have been developed in national public law are inconvenient in the context of EU law. The author gives a brief history of legal thinking concerning the different types of Community acts, puts them into their Constitutional framework and re-examines the relevant politics of the European Court of Justice. The concept of 'operating mode' is offered as an adequate tool for analyzing and systematizing the instruments. The leading idea is that the theory of instruments must be founded in a sound knowledge of legislative practice and that a reform of the legal instruments is a permanent task for legal science rather than for Treaty amendment.

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