Anne Boerger-De Smedt – Københavns Universitet

European Law > Members > Anne Boerger-De Smedt

Anne Boerger

Building European Law: The Life and Role of Michel Gaudet
(with Morten Rasmussen)

A productive way of studying the emergence of European law is by paying close attention to key European jurists who, behind the scene and the political spotlight, worked tirelessly to foster a supranational legal order. The perfect candidate for such a study is Michel Gaudet. As the director of the Legal Service of the European executives from 1952 to 1969, and as a negotiator of the Treaties of Rome’s institutional and legal features, Gaudet was not only an important witness of the early developments of the European law but also a unique player who can indeed be ascribed a major responsibility in the legal revolution that quasi-constitutionalized the European Treaties in the mid-1960s. Despite his unswerving efforts to promote a quasi-federal approach of the European law and the success he encountered, Michel Gaudet remains one of the least known figures of the early history of the European integration. So, relying on the historical methodology of archival research, this research investigates his life and career with the aim of shedding some light on his personal trajectory, his ideas and his vision of the supranational legal order. Altogether, a better understanding of one of the most influential European jurists of the 1950s and 1960s will increase our understanding of how the European law emerged.

Concomitant research project

At the Cradle of Legal Scholarship on the European Union: The Life and Legacy of Eric Stein

This project studies the career and academic work in the field of European law by Eric Stein (1913-2011), the University of Michigan Law School professor, who is often acknowledged as the father of English legal scholarship on the European Union. Few – if any – experts on European law can indeed claim to have had a career as long, prolific and influential as Eric Stein’s.  From 1955 to the very end of his life, the Czech-born American scholar produced numerous books and dozens of papers on European legal integration, including his 1981 classic ‘Lawyers, Judges, and the Making of a Transnational Constitution’. The research focuses on his life with a three-fold objective, i.e. charting his ‘European career’, contextualizing and analyzing some of his most influential academic writings on community law, and finally evaluating his long-term influence on the European Studies field.