Legal Certainty in the Mercosur: The Uniform Interpretation of Community Law

Posted: 23 Sep 1999

See all articles by Jan Kleinheisterkamp

Jan Kleinheisterkamp

London School of Economics - Law School; Cornell University - Law School


The MERCOSUR is a young and ambitious project of integration, the largest and most successful of its kind in Latin America. Still, the recent severe turbulences are showing that the economic and overall success of this project heavily depends on the new Community's ability to offer a stable framework for investors. An important part of this framework is legal certainty. In the absence of a supranational court, the uniform application of the Community regulations imposes a serious problem. This article tries to offer a solution, presenting a uniform method of interpretation adjusted to the special nature of the new legal order of the MERCOSUR. First, the author analyzes the character and structure of the Community law and shows the legal obligation of national judges to interpret and apply this law in a uniform way. A comparative study of the legal methodology in the member states as well as the associated countries then serves as the basis for developing a uniform method of interpretation. This method derives from the essence of the Community law of the MERCOSUR and the national legal traditions, fulfilling both the postulates of autonomy and acceptability. The key element of this work is the method of comparative law.

Suggested Citation

Kleinheisterkamp, Jan, Legal Certainty in the Mercosur: The Uniform Interpretation of Community Law. Available at SSRN:

Jan Kleinheisterkamp (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 7256 (Phone)


Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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