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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

versión On-line ISSN 2183-184X


ESCHER, Ana. A Matter of Principle: The Principle of Local Autonomy. e-Pública [online]. 2018, vol.5, n.2, pp.117-137. ISSN 2183-184X.

The paper suggests a re-reading of the constitutional imperative of local autonomy, which flows from the premise that the formulation of article 6.º of the Portuguese Constitution, with regard to local autonomy, contains a principle norm. Difficulties stemming from an apparent semantic openness are redirected to the openness of the legal hypothesis, hereby characterizing the issue as a typical situation of norm concurrence. This situation is a result of the plural norm formulation of article 6.º, from which several principle norms arise, united by a shared condition of the antecedent. This allows for the identification, at the abstract level, of a conflict between the principle norm of local autonomy and the principle norm of State unity. By critically assessing a case-study, this conflict is now identified at the concrete level and solved by balancing. The consequences of this operation are contrasted with the classical framing of local autonomy as an institutional guarantee.

Palabras clave : Local autonomy; principle norm; institutional guarantee; norm collision; balancing.

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