A decade of EU law in the courts of Scotland and Ireland: national legal systems compared

Barry Rodger, Imelda Maher, Ronan Riórdán

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This paper presents the findings of a comparative statistical study examining the application and trends in the deployment and utilisation of European Union (EU) law before the Scottish and Irish courts over a 10-year period from 2009–2018. The paper poses the question, how does European integration impact on the domestic legal systems of EU Member States due to the increasing volume, and significance, of cases where EU law is raised and applied within domestic legal systems? The research presented is of particular relevance in light of Brexit. It allows prescient reflection on the significant disruption and impact the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU is likely to have on areas of domestic law which are highly integrated with EU law. It highlights the potential difficulties implicit in attempting to unpick over 40 years of assimilation of EU law and principles into Scots law. These research outcomes should lead to further reflection and debate on the role of EU law and its impact on judicial decision-making in the Scottish and Irish legal systems in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-335
Number of pages25
JournalLegal Studies
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • EU law
  • Scottish courts
  • Irish court
  • domestic legal system
  • Brexit


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