The Ecj 's Evolving Case Law On Fundamental Human Rights

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Student i.d. 15035030

Question 5
The ECJ has been accused of “not taking (human) rights seriously”. Assess the validity of this comment with reference to the ECJ’s evolving case law on fundamental human rights in European Union law.

To begin with, it is essential to explain what is European Court of Justice and Human Rights. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is an institution, established in 1952, which interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all EU countries, and settles legal disputes between national governments and EU institutions. It can also, in certain circumstances, be used by individuals, companies or organisations to take action against an EU institution, if they
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First cases to consider would be Friedrich Stork & Cie v High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community and Geitling v High Authority , where a reluctance to recognise fundamental rights was noticed. However, these were the first cases dealing with fundamental human rights, and European Court of Justice had plenty of time to progress in making decisions regarding these rights, European Union law and Member States’ national law. Another essential case in this argument is Costa v Enel , where the principle of the supremacy of EEC law over inconsistent national law was established. In this case European Court of Justice said: “ It follows from all these observations that the law stemming from the treaty, an independent source of law, could not, because of its special and original nature, be overridden by domestic legal provisions, however framed, without being deprived of its character as community law and without the legal basis of the community itself being called into question“, which obviously gives priority for EU law over national law. Such a decision reflected in application of fundamental Human Rights as well – it proved that Human Rights will be applicable even if they conflict with national law. Only in Stauder v City of Ulm (An European Union scheme provided cheap butter for welfare benefits, but required to show a coupon with a person’s name and
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