The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: The First Ten Years - New Challenges and Perspectives

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Rights Issues".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 44040

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Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Economics, University of Thessaly, 382 21 Volos, Greece
2. Greek Public Law Association, 106 79 Athens, Greece
Interests: European Union law; human rights; constitutional law; administrative law; administrative science

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, 263 35 Patras, Greece
2. Greek Public Law Association, 106 79 Athens, Greece
Interests: European institutional and constitutional law; protection of fundamental rights in Europe; comparative constitutional law

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This year, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights celebrates 10 years since its formal recognition as primary EU law under article 6, par. 1 TEU as amended by the Lisbon Treaty. The Charter contains substantive rights categorized in 6 titles, each reflecting a core value of the European Union; dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights, and justice. The seventh and last title of the Charter refers to the interpretation and application of its provisions. In particular, article 51 defines the field of application, whereas article 52 sets the scope and interpretation depending on the source of inspiration for each article. In that sense, article 52 reflects the essence of composite constitutionalism in Europe, outlining the interrelation among its core elements. Throughout those 10 years, the CJEU has interpreted the provisions of the Charter formulating the respective rights. Moreover, the development of case law in human rights by the CJEU inevitably leads to judicial dialogue with the well-established human rights court in Europe, the ECtHR. The aim of this Special Issue is to stimulate discussion on the past, present, and future of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- The proclamation and formal recognition of the Charter: historical aspects;

- The substantive law of the Charter: theoretical and doctrinal approaches on the rights;

- The scope of the Charter - The formulation of the rights of the Charter through the CJEU case law;

- Judicial dialogue between the CJEU and the ECtHR;

- The principle of proportionality and limitation of the rights of the Charter;

- The role of the Charter in the composite constitutionalism in Europe;

- What future for the Charter?

Dr. Vasileios G. Tzemos
Dr. Konstantinos Margaritis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
  • Case law of the CJEU
  • Judicial dialogue
  • Proportionality
  • Composite constitutionalism

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 157 KiB  
Editorial
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: The First Ten Years-New Challenges and Perspectives
by Vasileios G. Tzemos and Konstantinos Margaritis
Laws 2021, 10(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws10040076 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4151
Abstract
Since 1 December 2009, the time when the Treaty of Lisbon came into force, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (hereinafter: the EU Charter, the Charter) has been formally included in the EU legal order as primary EU law [...] [...] Read more.
Since 1 December 2009, the time when the Treaty of Lisbon came into force, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (hereinafter: the EU Charter, the Charter) has been formally included in the EU legal order as primary EU law [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

16 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Activities of the European Ombudsman under the Charter of Fundamental Rights: Promoting Good Administration through Human Rights Compliance
by Alexei Avtonomov
Laws 2021, 10(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws10030051 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5328
Abstract
The adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights has strengthened the position of the European Ombudsman, since the Charter contains an article specifically dedicated to the Ombudsman. At the same time, the Ombudsman, through her/his practice, contributes to the implementation in the everyday [...] Read more.
The adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights has strengthened the position of the European Ombudsman, since the Charter contains an article specifically dedicated to the Ombudsman. At the same time, the Ombudsman, through her/his practice, contributes to the implementation in the everyday life of the provisions of the Charter and their further development. The consolidation and development of the provisions of the Charter by the European Ombudsman have proceeded especially rapidly since the Charter of Fundamental Rights received the status of a binding act. Due to the fact that the right to “good administration” contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights has become one of the basic human rights in the EU since the Charter became legally binding, the competence of the European Ombudsman has acquired a new substantive and factual (functional) content, expanding her/his ability to positively influence the EU administration in the field of governance and respect for fundamental rights. This article examines, based on legal acts, statistical and other factual data, the interrelated issues (such as institutional and human dimensions of European integration) of ensuring the effectiveness of the Charter of Fundamental Rights through the activities of the European Ombudsman. Full article
18 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
The Promise of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (and Brexit) on the Implementation of Economic and Social Rights among EU Member States
by Nirmala Pillay
Laws 2021, 10(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws10020031 - 24 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5511
Abstract
This article examines the extent to which the inclusion of the European Union (EU) Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Treaty of Lisbon, which gives legal force to socio-economic rights as well as civil and political rights, will succeed in helping EU member [...] Read more.
This article examines the extent to which the inclusion of the European Union (EU) Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Treaty of Lisbon, which gives legal force to socio-economic rights as well as civil and political rights, will succeed in helping EU member states meet international treaty obligations to implement socio-economic rights. Will the EU’s renewed commitment to developing the social sphere, post-Brexit, be more successful and will British citizens lose out on so-cio-economic rights in the long term if the EU succeeds in creating a better social or public dimension? Member states of the EU that have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) have obligations to progressively realise economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights. Progress on this has been slow and potentially made more difficult by the economic direction adopted by the EU since the 1980s. Although the EU, from the beginning, saw itself as a “social market” it struggled to embed the “social” to the same extent that it embedded the “market”. Critics argue that the economic policies of the EU and key judgements of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) successfully dis-embedded the market from its social context. Additionally, the regulatory regime of the EU developed in a direction that limited the capacity of nation states to ameliorate the consequences of market-led policies for the least advantaged. However, the Charter of Rights, which places socio-economic rights on an equal footing with civil and political rights, is a novel and bold initiative. It has stimulated debate on whether the Charter could rebalance the EU’s economic agenda by paying attention to the social consequences of predominantly market-led policies. This paper examines the potential impact of the EU Charter, in the context of member states international human rights obligations, to create an environment where member states of the EU have fewer obstacles to the “progressive realization” of ESC rights. Full article
15 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Environmental Legislation in European and International Contexts: Legal Practices and Social Planning toward the Circular Economy
by Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos
Laws 2021, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws10010003 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5762
Abstract
Environmental issues and relevant policy plans are steadily involving the circular economy (CE) concept into business development. Such significant approaches to achieve environmentally sustainable economic development, they are supported and reinforced by dissatisfaction with the linear traditional approach of “take-make-dispose” model. This traditional [...] Read more.
Environmental issues and relevant policy plans are steadily involving the circular economy (CE) concept into business development. Such significant approaches to achieve environmentally sustainable economic development, they are supported and reinforced by dissatisfaction with the linear traditional approach of “take-make-dispose” model. This traditional production model is bounded on large quantities of directly accessible resources and energy. Therefore, at this study the transition of the linear take-make-dispose model was investigated toward the circularity approach of cost-effectiveness over eco-efficiency. In this respect the study focused on, mainly European, environmental legislation at the industrial sector and the abiding legal practices and social planning regarding CE. The collective presentation of directives and regulations was accompanied by representing those research considerations, social reflections, and legal practices’ impacting. The challenging issues and the key developmental prospects for future researches have been conclusively denoted. Full article
12 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
Diplomatic and Consular Protection with Special Reference to Article 46 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
by Riaan Eksteen
Laws 2020, 9(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040032 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 4079
Abstract
Central to EU law and policies is the protection of human rights. For the European Union (EU), these rights are sacrosanct. Over the years, more substance to the protection of fundamental rights emerged. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is notably entrusted with [...] Read more.
Central to EU law and policies is the protection of human rights. For the European Union (EU), these rights are sacrosanct. Over the years, more substance to the protection of fundamental rights emerged. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is notably entrusted with the protection of human rights and has always deemed it imperative that fundamental rights must be protected within the scope of EU law. The Court has always relied on strong European traditions and values and is guided by the inalienable principle of the rule of law. In the human rights record of the EU, the Kadi cases occupy a special place. The scope of the application of Article 46 is limited, and the application of the Charter is still not used to its full potential, and too few citizens are even aware of it. The Commission intends to present a strategy that would improve the use and awareness of the Charter. By the middle of 2020, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU had become acrimonious. One issue that still begs the conclusion is the status of and protection available to EU citizens living in the UK beyond 31 December 2020. These basic rights of its citizens are not negotiable for the EU. Full article
23 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Interrogating the Role and Value of Cultural Expertise in Law
by John R. Campbell
Laws 2020, 9(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040029 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4877
Abstract
It is common for litigation to draw upon expert evidence to assist a judge to arrive at a balanced decision. This paper examines the role of one type of expert evidence submitted to courts, namely cultural expertise (CE), which provides information on socio-cultural [...] Read more.
It is common for litigation to draw upon expert evidence to assist a judge to arrive at a balanced decision. This paper examines the role of one type of expert evidence submitted to courts, namely cultural expertise (CE), which provides information on socio-cultural issues such as kinship, family, marriage, customs, language, religion, witchcraft and so on. This type of evidence is primarily the result of qualitative, ethnographic research. I begin by examining the views of experts who have provided CE to courts/mediators; I then look at how judges view and make use of CE, and finally I examine lawyers’ views on CE. To address gaps in published research, I interviewed British barristers to understand how they make use of experts in the cases they litigate. Finally, I have surveyed legal decisions made by all British appellate courts to arrive at an approximate idea of the extent to which CE has been submitted in English and Welsh courts. I conclude that the extent to which CE—and other types of socio-legal evidence—is submitted varies considerably depending upon the legal/evidentiary procedures followed in different jurisdictions and in different countries. Full article
21 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
A ‘Wellbeing’ Paradigm: A Concept-Based Study of Body Art and Regulatory Challenges
by Nicola Glover-Thomas
Laws 2020, 9(4), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040022 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 5536
Abstract
In this paper, I trace the changing characterisation of health and consider the evolution of health within a shifting paradigmatic landscape. I argue that understanding health now encompasses the importance of wellbeing as a key determinant of longer-term good health. I use the [...] Read more.
In this paper, I trace the changing characterisation of health and consider the evolution of health within a shifting paradigmatic landscape. I argue that understanding health now encompasses the importance of wellbeing as a key determinant of longer-term good health. I use the case study of body modification and body art to explore this further. I argue that, while body modification and body art, as a means of self-expression and empowerment, is relatively easy to access, there are critical gaps in the regulatory framework that may undermine the notion of wellbeing and individual choice. I critique the Court of Appeal’s decision in R v BM, [2018] EWCA Crim 560 which raises particular public interest concerns, but conclude that it is a missed opportunity in relation to how the law understands the promotion of ‘self’ within a model of wellbeing. Full article
8 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
The UK Government’s Covid-19 Response and Article 2 of the ECHR (Title I Dignity; Right to Life, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU)
by Miroslav Baros
Laws 2020, 9(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9030019 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6935
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to assess the impact of the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak from a human rights perspective, particularly its apparent tension with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to non-Covid-19 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to assess the impact of the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak from a human rights perspective, particularly its apparent tension with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to non-Covid-19 patients whose lives were put at risk by not being able to attend appointments and treatments for pre-existing conditions and illnesses. The UK has also rejected the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union with the European Union Withdrawal Act 2018, which will leave the population even more exposed to potential human rights violations. This seems to be a direct consequence of the narrative and slogan employed by the government: “Stay Home; Protect the NHS; Save Lives”. Other potentially threatened categories, the NHS staff and prisoners are also mentioned in the same context. The latter have already launched a judicial review application along the same lines: Article 2 of the ECHR and the due regard duty stemming from the Equality Act 2010. The NHS staff were directly at risk, and evidence was emerging almost on a daily basis that implied authorities’ responsibility for the shortage of personal protective equipment and testing kits. While there have been a number of discussions on other issues in relation to the lockdown and the strategy directly or indirectly impacting human rights, it appears that no discussion on the impact of the strategy for non-Covid-19 patients and other categories from a human rights perspective has taken place. This gap in analyses and literature merits the present analysis. Full article
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