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Human Rights Protection in a European Network of Courts

  • Andreas Paulus (a1)

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1 Vosskuhle, Andreas, Der Europäische Verfassungsgerichtsverbund, 6 Eur. Const. L. Rev. 175 (2010).

2 See Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court, BVerfG), Second Senate, Judgment of 4 May 2011, 2 BvR 2365/09, BVerfGE 128, 326 (369), para. 89 [hereinafter Security Detention II].

3 BVerfG, Second Senate, Decision of 6 July 2010, 2 BvR 2661/06, BVerfGE 126, 286; English translation available at http://www.bverfg.de/entscheidungen/rs20100706_2bvr266106en.html (last visited Aug. 1, 2013).

4 Security Detention II, supra note 2.

5 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 12 December 2007, Official Journal (OJ) C 83/02 (Mar. 30, 2010), entry into force Dec. 1, 2009; on its bindingness, see Article 6 § 1 subpara. 1 Treaty on European Union (TEU), OJ C 83/01 (Mar. 30, 2010).

6 Security Detention II, supra note 2, at 370–71.

7 See Commission and United Kingdom v. Kadi, Joined Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P & C-595/10 P, Court of Justice of the European Union, Grand Chamber, Judgment of 18 July 2013.

8 Cf. Åklagaren v. Åkerberg Fransson, Case C-617/10, Court of Justice of the European Union, Grand Chamber, Judgment of 26 Feb. 2013; Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), Case 1 BvR 1215/07, Judgment of the First Senate of 24 Apr. 2013, paras. 88–91, at http://www.bverfg.de/entscheidungen/rs20130424_lbvr121507.html (last visited Aug. 1, 2013).

9 For details, see Paulus, Andreas, Germany, in The Role of Domestic Courts in Treaty Enforcement 209 (Sloss, David ed., 2009).

10 See § 359 no. 6 Strafprozessordnung (StPO, German Code of Criminal Procedure).

11 See Murray v. The Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. (2 Cranch) 64, 118 (1804); recently upheld in F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., 542 U.S. 155, 164 (2004).

12 Cf. BVerfGE 111, 307 (323), Görgülü: im Rahmen methodisch vertretbarer Gesetzesauslegung (“in the framework of methodologically acceptable interpretation”).

13 BVerfGE 111, 307 (320); 128, 326 (368) [hereinafter Security Detention].

14 Häberle, Peter, Europäische Verfassungslehre 255–56 (7th ed., Nomos 2011) (describing the importance of cultural context and an “active reception” of the conclusions reached by other legal orders).

15 BVerfGE 111, 307 (324).

16 Article 1 of Protocol No. 15 amending the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed June 24, 2013 (not yet in force), at http://www.conventions.coe.int (last visited Sept. 5, 2013), includes the paragraph:

Affirming that the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, have the primary responsibility to secure the rights and freedoms defined in this Convention and the Protocols thereto, and that in doing so they enjoy a margin of appreciation, subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights established by this Convention.

High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights, 19–20 April 2012, Brighton Declaration, para. 12 b), at http://hub.coe.int/20120419-brighton-declaration (last visited Sept. 5, 2013).

17 A, B and C v. Ireland, Case 25579/05, Judgment of 16 December 2010, paras. 229 et seq.

18 Lautsi v. Italy, Case 30814/06, Judgment of 18 March 2011, paras. 70 et seq.

19 See Springer v. Germany, Case 39954/08, Judgment of 7 February 2012, paras. 85–88; but see diss. op. Lopez Guerra et al.

20 BVerfGE 128, 367 (369).

21 BVerfGE 128, 367 (371).

22 See van Gend & Loos, Case 6/62, [1963] ECR (direct effect); Costa v. ENEL, Case 6/64, [1964] ECR 585 (on supremacy).

23 Internationale Handelgesellschaft [1972] ECR 1125, 1134.

24 See BVerfGE 126, 286 <301 ff.> Honeywell.

25 BVerfGE 123, 267 <335, 353 ff.> Lissabonner Vertrag; Cf., see Schorkopf, Frank, Case Nos. 2 BvE 2/08, 2 BvE 5/08, 2 BvR 1010/08, 2 BvR 1022/08, 2 BvR 1259/08, and 2 BvR 182/09, 104 AJIL 259 (2010) (in favor); Halberstam, Daniel & Möllers, Christoph, The German Constitutional Court Says “Ja zu Deutschland!”‘, 10 German L J. 1241 (2009) (critical); Schönberger, Christoph, Lisbon in Karlsruhe: Maastricht’s Epigones at Sea , 10 German L.J. 1201 (2009) (critical). For a critique of the public international law aspects, see Paulus, Andreas, From Dualism to Pluralism, in Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy: Essays in Honour of Detlev Vagts 132, 150 (Bekker, Pieter H.F. et al. eds., 2010).

26 BVerfGE 37, 271, 285—Solange (“So long as”) I; BVerfGE 73, 339, 387—Solange II; BVerfGE 89, 155, 175—Maastricht; BVerfGE 102, 147, 163—Banana market regulation.

27 Bosphorus Hava Yollari Turizm ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi v. Ireland, Case 45036/98, Judgment of 30 June 2005, ECHR (Grand Chamber) 2005-VI.

28 This case law was the decisive advance of the 1993 judgment of the Court on the Maastricht treaty, BVerfGE 89, 155 at 188 and passim, and is again taken up in the Lisbon judgment, BVerfGE 123, 267 <335, 353 f.>, and explained in the later Honeywell ruling, BVerfGE 126, 286 at 301 et seq.

29 Article 79 § 3 GG reads: “Amendments to this Basic Law affecting the division of the Federation into Länder, their participation on principle in the legislative process, or the principles laid down in Articles 1 and 20 shall be inadmissible.” Christian Tomuschat et al. translation, available at http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/englisch_gg.html#p0409 (last visited Sept. 5, 2013).

30 BVerfGE 125, 260 (324)—Data retention. See also BVerfG, Judgment of the First Senate of 24 Apr. 2013, supra note 8, para. 91.

31 See also BVerfGE 123, 267, at 268, 354—Lisbon treaty.

32 BVerfGE 126, 286 (301 ff.).

33 See supra note 8.

34 BVerfG, Judgment of the First Senate of 24 Apr. 2013, supra note 8, paras. 88 et seq.

35 Article 51 § 1 reads in its relevant parts:

The provisions of this Charter are addressed to … the Union … and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. They shall therefore respect the rights, observe the principles and promote the application thereof in accordance with their respective powers and respecting the limits of the powers of the Union as conferred on it in the Treaties.

36 But see von Bogdandy, Armin et al., Rettungsschirm für Grundrechte, 72 Heidelberg J. Int’l L. 45 (2012).

37 Artide 269, para. 1 TFEU reads:

The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to decide on the legality of an act adopted by the European Council or by the Council pursuant to article 7 [TEU] solely at the request of the Member State concerned by a determination of the European Council or of the council and in respect solely of the procedural stipulations contained in that Article.

For the texts of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), see 53 Official J. Eur. Union C 83/01.

38 See Czech Constitutional Court, Decision of 31 Jan. 2012—Pl.ÚS 5/12 (Holoubec); Komárek, Jan, Czech Constitutional Court Playing with Matches: The Czech Constitutional Court Declares a Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU Ultra Vires, 8 Eur. Const. L. Rev. 323–37 (2012).

39 Cf. Art. 53. I owe this argument to my colleague Justice Johannes Masing.

40 See, e.g., Art. 6 § 1 sub-para. 2 TEU; Art. 51 § 2 of the Charter, which reads: “The Charter does not extend the field of application of Union law beyond the powers of the Union or establish any new power or task for the Union, or modify powers and tasks as defined in the Treaties.”

41 For his “delisting.” see Press Release of Oct. 5, 2012, SC/10785 (2012), http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/sc10785.doc.htm (last visited Sept. 6, 2013).

42 Commission and United Kingdom v. Kadi, Joined Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P & C-595/10 P, Court of Justice of the European Union, Grand Chamber, Judgment of July 18, 2013.

43 See SC Res. 1904 (2009), 1989 (2011).

44 Kadi v. Council and Commission [2008] ECR 1-6351, Opinion of Advocate General Maduro, para. 21.

45 Kokott, Juliane & Sobotta, Christoph, The Kadi Case—Constitutional Core Values and International Law—Finding the Balance?, 23 Eur. J. Int’l L. 1015 (2012).

46 See Kadi v. Commission, Joined Cases C-584/10 P, C-593/10 P & C-595/10 P, Opinion of Advocate General Bot of 19 March 2013, at http://www.curia.europa.eu (last visited Sept. 6, 2013).

47 This was the position of the General Court regarding jus cogens violations by the Security Council in Kadi v. Council and Commission, T-315/01, Judgment of 21 Sept. 2005, para. 226 ff—whose violation it denied, however, in the case at hand—but see the central nature of the right to be heard for the rule of law as reflected in the old Roman maxim audiatur et altera pars.

48 Halberstam, Daniel & Stein, Eric, The United Nations, the European Union, and the King of Sweden, 46 Common Market L. Rev. 13, 71–72 (2009).

49 Commission v. Kadi, supra note 46, para. 131: “Such a judicial review is indispensable to ensure a fair balance between the maintenance of international peace and security and the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person concerned …, those being shared values of the UN and the European Union.” For a more extensive treatment, see ECtHR, Nada v. Switzerland, Case 10593/08, Judgment of the Grand Chamber of 12 Sept. 2012, paras. 167 et seq. (attempting to harmonize the obligations of states under UN law and regional human rights law).

50 Id. para. 106.

51 Id. para. 115.

* The views expressed herein reflect the personal views of the author only.

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