Influences of Judicial and Legal Culture in Europe
This chapter examines additional issues that may challenge mutual trust and co-operation, namely legal and judicial culture. As the characteristics of a jurisdiction’s legal culture are deeply imbedded features that underpin the development and application of commonly held legal principles, these are particularly difficult to dislodge or otherwise harmonise. They influence a jurisdiction’s approach to fundamental legal principles, such as the rule of law, which underpin many other important characteristics of a legal system, including the role of the courts and judicial independence. The EU has taken a proactive approach to harmonising or Europeanising Member State judiciaries with a view to increasing mutual trust and effective co-operation. The Chapter will explore issues of harmonisation as they relate to legal and judicial culture and how differences in this area may impact court-to-court co-operation.