Enforcing the European Union legal system is diverse and done on multiple platforms; through not only actions taken against member states for breach of their obligations, but also, for example, through the use of direct effect1. Article 267 TFEU; an organism devised to practice private enforcement of EU law before national courts, has been critical to ensure uniform interpretation and application of EU law in member states. References for preliminary rulings occur when the national courts are presented with a question of EU law due to uncertainty of the provision. The national court will therefore ‘make a reference to the Court of Justice (COJ) to obtain a preliminary ruling on any point of EU law relevant to the proceedings’2. In
A different and more modern set of values which are now applied by judges throughout the English legal system are human rights set out in the ECvHR. Since the 1950s, UK citizens have been able to pursue an action in the European Court of Human Rights, and since October 2010 have been able to raise the same issues in a UK court.
The legitimacy of the ECJ to uphold EU legislation is a necessary component of effective human rights policy. The history of its increase in power is worth noting. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the ECJ’s location in Luxembourg, far from the political fray in Brussels and Strasburg, prevented it from becoming a strong body of the EU. Yet, throughout that time the court methodically built case-law that would lead to its surge in influence in the 1980s. The two most significant developments of the court during this time period were direct effect and supremacy. These twin pillars clarified the relationship between the national and EU legal orders.
Australia is now the only Western democracy without a bill of rights. Its law-makers have consistently declined to introduce a bill of rights, either legislative or constitutional. Recently, in 2009, the Australian Government commissioned the most extensive consultation on human rights issues in Australia’s history – and then flatly rejected the consultation committee’s recommendation that a Human Rights Act be introduced. To observers in Europe – where courtesy of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), human rights are woven deeply into the fabric of governance- Australia’s position may be surprising, even perplexing. Why is Australia so isolated from the global trend towards introducing human rights-specific legislation? – David Kinley & Christine Ernst
Private parties who feel affected by decisions of government that have been reached at EU or national level are entitled to make a case against the state in a Claim for Judicial Review (CJR) proceeding. However before this process can take place the court must be content that the claimant has satisfied a certain criteria, in a process known as standing. If the court grants standing to the private party, then the government decision being challenged may be subject to judicial review.
The reform of the Human Rights Act can illustrate that the constitutional reform did not go far enough. In 1998, the Blair government announced that the citizens ' rights would be safeguarded and strengthened through incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. However, this created a problem as the UK now has two sets of rights – those built up under Common Law and those in the Human Rights Act. These two sets of rights may conflict and, in addition, cases can be taken using these rights to both the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights (which is the supreme court for the European Convention on Human Rights). The UK judiciary is divided on how to resolve this issue.
The doctrine of human rights were created to protect every single human regardless of race, gender, sex, nationality, sexual orientation and other differences. It is based on human dignity and the belief that no one has the right to take this away from another human being. The doctrine states that every ‘man’ has inalienable rights of equality, but is this true? Are human rights universal? Whether human rights are universal has been debated for decades. There have been individuals and even countries that oppose the idea that human rights are for everybody. This argument shall be investigated in this essay, by: exploring definitions and history on human rights, debating on whether it is universal while providing examples and background
The European Court of Justice – The court has a judge fro each member state that sits for a term of six years. The court adjucates on all legal issues and disputes involving community law and must ensure that community law in uniformly interpreted and effectively applied.
Both statutory interpretation and the Human Rights Act are a doctrine of precedent by which law is changed and justice is served. The doctrine of precedent is an essential principle of English legal system, which is a form of reasoning, interpreting and decision making formed by case law. It suggests that precedents not only have persuasive authority but must also be shadowed when similar situations arise. Any rule or principle declared by a higher court must be followed in future cases. In short the courts and tribunals are bound within prearranged restrictions by prior decisions of other superior courts. All the judges are also obliged to follow the set-up precedents established by prior decisions which is called Stare decisis. Making decisions according to precedent helps achieve two objectives. Initially it aids to maintain a system of stable laws which gives predictability to the law and affords a degree of safety for individual rights. Moreover, it ensures that the law progresses only in accordance with the developing perceptions of the community. Therefore, it more accurately mirrors the morals and prospects of the community that we live in.
This paper will assess the claim that supremacy of EU law is still an evolving and debatable concept. To do this, I have divided this paper into four sections. The first section will discuss the establishment of supremacy in EU law through ECJ case law. The second section will explore the vibrant debate surrounding constitutional pluralism that has arisen since the early 1990s. The third section will examine the debate and impact of the codification of primacy in the early 2000s. The fourth section will examine the extent to which the principle of sovereignty has been accepted in three EU Member States, namely, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland.
However again this higher status can be seen as limited as is only assumed from a written obligation. Therefore to asses if supremacy is not the challenge to member state sovereignty that is appears to be, a close analysis of how the CJEU has dealt with the issue of supremacy of EU law in case law is needed, firstly looking at Van Gend en Loos which stated that the ‘EU was a new legal order permanently limiting the sovereign rights of the Member State’. This customs case helped establish the ‘relationships between the European Union and international law…to grantee that the rules of one system are complied with in another legal order ’ showing in practise that if on a national level EU law is breached CJEU will take supremacy and comply with ‘the integrity of the EU legal order’ . Further evaluation of the limits of the supremacy can be seen in the case of Costa V ENEL where ‘Italy had claimed that the EU treaties…had been transposed into the Italian legal order by national legislation, which could therefore be derogated by subsequent national legislation. The court rejected this presumption of the supremacy of national law by insisting on the supremacy of EU law’ . This case holds significance as it ‘is well-known since Costa V ENEL the court has affirmed the supremacy of Community law over national law’ strongly suggesting the continued existence of EU supremacy is not frequently
It is important to set the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights in context by examining the development of rights within the European Union. The embryo organisation that commenced the EU (The Coal and Steel Community 1951) was introduced in the wake of World War II to rebuild Europe by economically tying previously warring nations together. The consensus amongst the "heavy weights" of the EU was, if member states were economically invested in each other to ensure financial stability within their own state, future conflicts would be avoided. The EU had taken the role of a purely economic organisation which explains why it was not focused on social issues such as human rights, leaving such matters to individual member states to determine. Then came the political advancement of the 1990s, as evidenced by Weiler; ‘[The Maastricht Treaty] appropriates the deepest symbols of statehood: European citizenship, defence and foreign policy’. Naturally, the issue of human rights became prominent within the EU, and after much debate and a Convention the Charter was passed and given legally binding status under the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. The Charter has proved to be a controversial issue within European politics, with doubts being voiced about the functionality of the European Union’s own “Bill of Rights”. To effectively assess the question at hand, this essay will evaluate the extent to which the Charter is a necessary and desirable development, before reaching an overall
Following the signing of the ECHR, the United Kingdom introduced the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998). Under s6(3)(a) HRA 1998, the courts are now considered a public body, therefore no decisions they make can affect the guaranteed rights of any individual under ECHR. The introduction of this legislation has resulted in individuals bringing claims for Human Rights breaches where negligence claims have
The European Union is the unifying power of 28 member states, and consists of many branches of government that fall under intergovernmentalist or supranationalist functions. One branch that seems to go below the radar is the European Court of Justice, which in reality, has greatly affected the development of European Community law, and contributed greatly to European integration. As we have seen throughout history, the member states have been ebbing back and forth between integration and sovereignty, and the states hardly want to give up their national rights, but the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has proven to be vital to the process European integration. Different sets of case laws set up the precedents of direct effect, supremacy, and