This text examines the origins of community law from the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community up to the early Sixties: a crucial decade for the emergence of a new kind of law, which was neither national, nor federal, nor codified. It stemmed from extra-legislative needs such as doctrine and jurisprudence, especially the Court of Justice in which the advocates general Maurice Lagrange (a Frenchman) and Karl Roemer (a German) played such a central role, but its construction was neither organic nor code-based; rather, it developed on basis of isolated "pillars", a shared fabric of great principles accompanied by a corpus of Treaties. EU law is thus "bizarre", a product of illustrious legal practitioners who were inspired by the ideal of a united Europe.
Contents: Preface - Introduction: An Unexplored Field - 2. Difficult Beginnings, among Enthusiasm and Stagnation - 3. The Birth of the European Communities and the Ensuing Reactions: From Hope to Caution - 4. The Birth of "European" Law: Style and Method of the First Court of Justice Advocats General, Karl Roemer and Maurice Lagrange - 5. Roemer, Lagrange, and the Construction of European Law: "Common Principles" rather than Codes - 6. The European Communities' Court of Justice: Promotion and Celebration of European Law - 7. Maurice Lagrange's Way Forward - 8. European Administration: Hierarchical Principles and Spirit of Solidarity - 9. Operational Jurists at Europe's Service: The Communities' "Service Juridique Commun" - Conclusion.
Antonio Grilli, a scholar of the history of law and institutions, used to teach and conduct research at the University of Trier (Germany). He is currently a European Union official.