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Are You Networked Yet? On Dialogues in European Judicial Networks


Monica Claes ,

Maastricht University, NL
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Maartje de Visser

Maastricht University, NL
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This article critically examines the functioning of European judicial networks as one modality of transnational dialogues between judges. In order to provide a conceptual framework, we first explore the meaning of the concepts of 'network', 'dialogue' and 'constitutional pluralism' and find that existing channels of communication between national courts and the CJEU hardly qualify as real dialogues. Then follows an in-depth examination of the practical workings of a number of well-established and active European judicial networks, which bring together judges who are more or less at the same level in their domestic judicial hierarchy and have similar functions in their respective legal systems. This involves determining who participates in judicial networks; how and to what end dialogues are conducted within these forums; and why judges may be motivated to participate in such networks. Using these insights, we argue that networks require a change in legal thinking, which is facilitated in the EU context by the constitutionalism pluralism discourse. Further, judicial networks have the potential to increase the dialogic qualities of the relationship between the CJEU and national courts, while they may at the same time affect the balance within that relationship in favour of the national courts.
How to Cite: Claes, M. and de Visser, M., 2012. Are You Networked Yet? On Dialogues in European Judicial Networks. Utrecht Law Review, 8(2), pp.100–114. DOI:
Published on 10 May 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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