Proportionality increasingly dominates legal imagination. Initially conceived of as a principle that regulates police action, today it is progressively established as an advanced tool of liberal constitutional science. Its spread, accompanied by a global paradigm of constitutional rights, appears to be an irresistible natural development. This thesis was inspired by the intuition that even though courts and lawyers around the world reason more and more in proportionality terms, proportionality can mean very different things in different contexts, even within the same legal system. While the relevant literature has paid little attention to differences in the use of proportionality, identifying the local meanings of proportionality is crucial to making sense of its spread, to assessing its success, and to appraising the possibility of convergence between legal systems. Through an in-depth study and comparison of the use of proportionality by legal actors in France, England and Greece, this work shows that the local meanings of proportionality are not simply deviant applications of a global model. Instead, they reflect the legal cultures in which they evolve, local paths of cultural change and local patterns of Europeanisation.
Author: Afroditi Ioanna Marketou
Category: Comparative law
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