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The interaction between the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights: What will change after the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights?

Date: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Time: 12:30PM - 02:00PM
Description: The accession of the European Union (EU) to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) constitutes a major step in the development of human rights in Europe. The ECHR offers protection of fundamental civil and political rights and provides for enforcement machinery through the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. Individuals who deem their rights have been violated in one country can bring their case to the Strasbourg court after exhaustion of domestic remedies. Accession of the EU to the ECHR will strengthen the protection of human rights in Europe, by ultimately submitting the EU and its legal acts to the jurisdiction of the ECtHR. The accession will also close gaps in legal protection by giving European citizens the same protection vis-à-vis acts of the EU as they presently enjoy from member states. The EU has developed a separate legal order, with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg as its highest court. Whereas all EU member states are also parties to the ECHR, the EU itself is currently not. Even though the EU is founded on the respect for fundamental rights, the observance of which is ensured by the CJEU, the ECHR and its judicial mechanism do not formally apply to EU acts. This divergence may be rectified by the EU, becoming a party to the Convention. The recent draft on the EU-ECHR Accession Agreement, however, poses several challenges on the attribution of EU member states’ acts transposing EU law and on the intervening role reserved for the CJEU in proceedings brought before the ECtHR to avoid possible conflicts among the two high courts.
URL: https://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/summer/2014/20140605.cfm
Location: Room 603
Contact Name: SECLE
Contact Phone: 202.274.4075
Contact Email: secle@wcl.american.edu
Posted On: 05/06/14

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