Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law

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The European Court and the National Courts:
A Statistical Analysis of Preliminary References, 1961-95


The article presents comprehensive data on Article 177 (EEC) activity. The data, never before collected and analysed, are coded by date, member state of origin, referring court, legal subject matter of the reference, and other categories, which permit us to construct a dynamic, multidimensional picture of the litigation of EC law across the Community. Using this data, we assess of a range of approaches to European legal integration. The evidence corroborates transaction-based theories of integration, and broadly supports approaches that emphasize the transformative impact of the Court's doctrines of supremacy and direct effect. We found less support for recent critiques of the "judicial empowerment" thesis developed by Weiler and others.

Alec Stone Sweet (

Thomas L. Brunell (

Department of Politics and Society
School of Social Sciences
3151 Social Science Plaza
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
FAX: (714) 824-8762

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