Practical Experience and Theories of Legal Interpretation, Implementation and Application of Law

Course No. III

Oplysninger om arrangementet


mandag 6. december 2021, kl. 10:30 - tirsdag 7. december 2021, kl. 17:30


Department of Law, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Building 1410, room 247


Department of Law, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University

Purpose and content

To acquaint the PhD fellows with different approaches to interpretation, implementation and application of law.

To introduce the PhD fellows to the general and more specific practices in different systems of judicial reasoning and to interpretation and implementation of statutory rules and principles that are used in practice in various settings.

The PhD fellows will receive practical advice from senior and junior researchers and they will have the opportunity to discuss with each other the experiences – and the challenges – that they have in their own research with their analyses of different forms of interpretation, implementation and/or research into application of law.

The theme of this course involves the intersection of debates about different methods of interpretation and application of law and the broader question on the implementation, interpretation and application of law by courts, tribunals, national regulatory authorities, and other bodies having the power to decide on the implementation, interpretation and application of legislation ­– generally as well as in individual cases, involving also ‘judicial dialogue’ between such authorities.

The course will incorporate the participants’ specific needs, problems and reflections on their subjects. Therefore, the teaching will be organized as an interaction between presentations and discussions based on the participants’ own experiences and problems. The aim is to exchange experience and reflection rather than one-way communication.


Participants' preparation

It is a condition for the participation in the course that each PhD fellow prepares a paper – in English. The paper should be no more than 5 pages (a standard page includes 2,400 characters, including spaces). Please send your paper to Mette Hyldahl, Deadline for the paper is 29 November.

The paper should include the following:

I) Your own research project: Please give a short explanation of the legal area, legal problems, theories and methods already decided.

II) In reviewing the methods of interpretation:

a) Which interpretation method(s) do you plan to use?

b) Which interpretation method(s) are preferred by the actors and authorities of relevance in your project (the courts at international EU and/or national level; the EU Commission; agencies preparing legislation (e.g. as part of implementation of international or EU law); tribunals, compliance committees; administrative authorities; or…).

III) Implementation: Are there any aspects of implementation e.g. from international and EU law to national law in your project? Implementation from national law to practice?

IV) Application: Are there any differences between the interpretations and applications made by the actors/users of the law that your project is focusing on – e.g. depending on their role or the regulatory levels? Or depending on their nationalities in comparative research projects?

V) Research design and methodology: What are your considerations as to how you can design/describe your analytical and methodological approach to these questions in your PhD thesis?


Yuji Iwasawa, Domestic Application of International Law, in Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law, vol. 378, 2016, pp. 9-262 (pp. 213-242 regarding ‘Direct Enforceability of Judgments of International Courts’)

Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Theory of Legal Interpretation," Harvard Law Review 12, no. 6 (1898-1899): 417-420.

Ole Terkelsen, The Ajos Case and the Danish Approach to International Law, European Public Law 24, no. 2, 2018, pp. 183-194.

Richard H. Fallon Jr, “The Meaning of Legal "Meaning" and Its Implications for Theories of Legal Interpretation”, The University of Chicago Law Review , Summer 2015, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Summer 2015), pp. 1235-1308

Terry Hutchinson; Nigel Duncan, "Defining and Describing What We Do: Doctrinal Legal Research," Deakin Law Review 17, no. 1 (October 2012): 83-120

Kaarlo Tuori: ‘Rättens nivåer och dimensioner', Juridiska Fakulteten vid Helsingfors Universitet, 2008, Chap. 4 and 5 pp. 30-71 or Kaarlo Tuori: ‘Critical Legal Positivism’, Ashgate, 2002, chap. 6 and 7 pp. 147-216.

Koen Lenaerts and José Antonio Gutiérrez-Fons ‘To Say What the Law of the EU Is: Methods of Interpretation and the European Court of Justice’, Columbia Journal of European Law, Vol. 20, no. 2 (2014):  pp. 3–61.

William Twining (2010) “Normative and Legal Pluralism: A Global Perspective” Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 20: 473-518.

The following articles are available at the Internet at

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann Do Judges Meet their Constitutional Obligations to Settle Disputes in Conformity with ‘Principles of Justice and International Law? Vol. 1, European Journal of Law Studies

Benedetto Conforti ‘The Role of the Judge in International Law’. Vol. 1, European Journal of Law Studies

Allan Rosas ‘The European Court of Justice in Context: Forms and Patterns of judicial Dialogue’, Vol. 1, European Journal of Law Studies


The course is included in the mandatory course package for PhD fellows at the Department of Law, Aarhus BSS, AU, where there is an overall credit. For other participants the credit is 3 ECTS.

Registration fee



English, if there are participants who are not familiar with Danish


Mette Hyldahl,, on 22 November 2021 at 12:00 at the latest.

Number of participants

A maximum of 20 people