Contemporary history of Luxembourg

Activism on and off the bench: Pierre Pescatore and the law of integration

This article examines the life and career of Pierre Pescatore, one of the
most prominent, but also controversial, promoters of European
Community law. Drawing on extensive archive material, as well as
interviews with relatives, it aims at understanding how and why he left
such a strong footprint on the development of Community, later EU, law,
both as a judge at the European Court of Justice and as a law scholar.
Going beyond a one-man story, the article situates him in the broader
context of the 1970s bench of judges in order to understand the so-called
“activism” which the ECJ revealed during this decade. Thus, looking
through the lens of one of the leading figures of the Court, it provides new
explanations as to why the ECJ’s case law was so provocatively
pro-integrationist during the 1970s.

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