Volume 9 (2003) / Issue 2
Both musical counterpoint and EU law regulate relationships between complex entities: musical lines and legal orders, respectively. Musical counterpoint and EU law thus share an essential function. Clearly, there are contextual differences. However, these very differences mean that counterpoint may offer perspectives on EU law free of the historically and ideologically entrenched conceptions which often constrain study of governance problems in EU law. In the present paper analogies are drawn between musical notes and legal acts and between melodic lines and legal orders. The very exercise of making analogies between two different systems of thought may highlight certain features of each. The significance of highlighted features of EU law might, in the absence of such an exercise, be overlooked or obscured. The paper goes on to use the theory of musical counterpoint as a framework for analyzing EU law. This method brings into focus features of EU law that are critical for relationships between legal orders. Finally, compositional models derived from contrapuntal theory are used to evaluate recent reform moves in EU practice concerning such relationships and to suggest new possibilities for reform.
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