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Proportionality embodies a basic concept of fairness to strengthen the protection of individual rights at both the national and supranational level. The purpose of this book is to examine the impact of the principle of proportionality in the legal systems of Germany, France and the European Community, where the principle of proportionality plays a pivotal role in balancing the rights and obligations of the individual.
The definition of proportionality as used in this work is quite broad: measures adopted by public authorities should not exceed the limits of what is appropriate and necessary in order to attain legitimate objectives in the public interest.;As many important general principles of law as applied by the Court of Justice have been borrowed from German and French law, and a comparative study of the various forms which this principle has assumed in both German and French public law is presented.
The areas of substantive law examined are the law of the common agricultural policy and the free movement of goods.;The fundamental question is also raised as to whether proportionality allows judges to interfere with official decisions, thus breaching the principle of the separation of powers. This work argues that proportionality involves the state-citizen relationship and could be considered as a response to the historical experience that public authorities, national and supranational, function with the tendency to impair freedom of the individual.