German Law Journal and a Loud “No” to Brexit

The German Law Journal has a proud history of publishing in the fields of European, Transnational, and Comparative law. Much of this work engages, on the one hand, with the ways free movement rights and harmonization processes affect and possibly benefit European citizens and, on the other hand, how the different legal traditions of the Member States inform, develop, and enhance European law and its application. The editors of the German Law Journal consider the English common law tradition to be a cherished part of Europe’s socio-legal heritage.  The European project and our life in the law will be poorer should this week’s referendum lead to a “Brexit”.  We know first-hand how the encounters between English law and the different legal cultures found on the Continent enliven and exhilarate and exasperate comparative and transnational law projects.  Some of our editors are living that comparative experience.  And our content shows that our authors and readers appreciate this as well.  For example, our recent special issue The Preliminary Reference to the Court of Justice of The European Union by Constitutional Courts explored multi-layered narratives regarding the dialogue between the national courts and the CJEU and provides useful insight into how and when national courts engage with the European dimension.  One contribution focused on the U.K. Supreme Court in this context. But national influences—including Britain—on the European order and transnational legal discourse and imagination are not limited to the preliminary references procedure. We have published comparative studies on a wide range of subjects.  In private law, for instance, Richard Best examined Asbestos liability regimes in England and Germany and  defective products liability law in England and Germany.  In criminal law, Susanne Beck considered the different concepts of corporate criminal liability in England and Germany while Michael Jasch wrote about the vanishing differences between English and German police and prosecution practices.  For us, these comparative encounters within the context of the European Union, should not mean that the Member States must sacrifice their national legal identity, as was demonstrated by the reflections on English law in Justice Hoffmann-Riem’s essay on the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s seminal Marbury v. Madison decision.  Stay, Britain.  You make us better.