The Judicial Construction of Europe

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The Judicial Construction of Europe

By Alec Stone Sweet
Oxford University Press, 2004
294 pp. $99.00
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Stone Sweet, who teaches political science and law at Yale, has been a champion of the study of courts as shapers and interpreters of the constitutional order. In this important, impressive, and scholarly new book, he examines the contribution of the European Court of Justice to the construction of Europe. He shows how the ECJ has asserted its supremacy in national laws and courts and reinforced both the supra-and the subnational aspects of European integration--proving in the process that students of government need not only a solid grounding in history and a decent knowledge of economics, but also an understanding of the law. As a result, the Rome treaty on integration has "evolved from a set of legal arrangements binding upon sovereign states into a vertically integrated legal regime conferring judicially enforceable rights and obligations on legal persons and entities, public and private." It will be impossible to teach about the EU without resorting to this book.