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Procedural Rationality Review after Animal Defenders International: A Constructively Critical Approach

  • Patricia Popelier

Abstract

Procedural rationality review – Quality of law-making – Fundamental rights – Relation to margin of appreciation – Guidelines to avoid the use of double standards

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Full Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Antwerp. The author wishes to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

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1 Apart from numerous stand-alone papers in books and journals, edited volumes and special journal issues have recently been devoted to this topic, see in particular: Gerards, J. and Brems, E., Procedural Review in Fundamental Rights Cases (Cambridge University Press 2017); Messerschmidt, K. and Oliver-Lalana, D. (eds.), Rational Lawmaking under Review (Springer 2016); R. Ismer and K. Messerschmidt, Evidence-based judicial review of legislation, special issue of TPLeg (2016, Vol. 2); Rose-Ackerman, S. et al., Due Process of Lawmaking (Cambridge University Press 2015).

2 See Goldoni, M., ‘Two Internal Critiques of Political Constitutionalism’ (2011) 10 International Journal of Constitutional Law p. 932933 .

3 ECtHR 2 October 2010 and Grand Chamber 8 July 2003, Case No 36 022/97, Hatton v the United Kingdom.

4 For an overview, see Popelier, P., ‘The Court as Regulatory Watchdog: the Procedural Approach in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights’, in Popelier, P. et al. (eds), The Role of Constitutional Courts in Multilevel Governance (Intersentia 2012) p. 257265 .

5 ECtHR 22 April 2013, Grand Chamber, Case No. 48 876/08, Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom.

6 See the case law discussed below.

7 See, amongst others, Lewis, T., ‘Reasserting the Primacy of Broadcast Political Speech after Animals Defenders International? – Rogaland Pensioners Party v Norway’, 1 Journal of Media Law (2009) p. 48 ; Scott, A., ‘A Monstrous and Unjustifiable Infringement?: Political Expression and the Broadcasting Ban on Advocacy Advertising’, 66 Modern Law Review (2003) p. 224 .

8 ECtHR 28 June 2001, Grand Chamber, Case No. 24 699/94, Verein gegen Tierfabriken v Switzerland, para. 61.

9 Para. 75.

10 Animal Defenders International v The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport [2006] EWHC 3069 (Admin), paras. 79 and 103; Animal Defenders International v The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport [2008] UKHL 15, para. 31.

11 ECtHR 11 December 2008, Case No. 21132/05, TV Vest and Rogaland Pensjonistparti v Norway, paras. 55, 57.

12 Paras. 72–73.

13 ECtHR 10 July 2003, Case No. 44179/98, Murphy v Ireland, para. 67.

14 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, para. 104.

15 Para. 109.

16 Para. 110.

17 Para. 108.

18 Paras. 108, 113.

19 Para. 114.

20 Para. 115.

21 Para. 116.

22 Para. 119.

23 Para. 122.

24 Para. 124.

25 The Court gave the impression that it relied on precedents even when there were none, Lewis, supra n. 7, at p. 471. See also Joint Dissenting Opinion of judges Ziemele, Sajó, Kalaydjieva, Vucinic and De Gaetano, para. 8.

26 Lewis, supra n. 7, p. 470.

27 Lewis, supra n. 7, p. 472.

28 Lewis, supra n. 7, p. 468.

29 Joint Dissenting Opinion of judges Ziemele, Sajó, Kalaydjieva, Vucinic and De Gaetano, para. 9.

30 Lewis, supra n. 7, p. 469.

31 Joint Dissenting Opinion of judges Ziemele, Sajó, Kalaydjieva, Vucinic and De Gaetano, para. 10.

32 Joint Dissenting Opinion of judges Ziemele, Sajó, Kalaydjieva, Vucinic and De Gaetano, paras. 1, 10.

33 Lewis, supra n. 7, p. 474; De Londras, F. and Dzehtsiarou, K., ‘Managing Judicial Innovation in the European Court of Human Rights’, 15 Human Rights Law Review (2015) p. 538 ; Popelier, P. and Van De Heyning, C., ‘Subsidiarity Post-Brighton: Procedural Rationality as Answer?’, 30 Leiden Journal of International Law (2017) p. 19 at p. 21.

34 Hatton v the United Kingdom, supra n. 3, paras. 99–104.

35 Popelier, P. and Van De Heyning, C., ‘Procedural Rationality: Giving Teeth to the Proportionality Analysis’, 9 EuConst (2012) p. 232 .

36 Grand Chamber 27 June 2017, Case No. 931/13, Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v Finland; Grand Chamber 6 November 2017, Case No. 43494/09, Garib v the Netherlands; Grand Chamber 4 April 2018, Case No. 56402/12, Correia de Matos v Portugal; Grand Chamber 11 December 2018, Case No. 36480/07, Lekić v Slovenia.

37 ECtHR 4 April 2018, Case No. 56402/12, Correia de Matos v Portugal, para. 151.

38 Dissenting Opinion of Judge Pinto de Albuquerque joined by Judge Vehabovic, Grand Chamber 6 November 2017, Case No. 43494/09, Garib v the Netherlands, para. 12.

39 ECtHR 20 June 2017, Case No. 67667/09, Bayev v Russia.

40 ECtHR 20 November 2018, Case No. 44 873/09, Ognevenko v Russia, para. 69.

41 ECtHR 20 November 2018, Case No. 44 873/09, Ognevenko v Russia, paras. 75–78.

42 Dissenting Opinion of Judge Dedov, para. 6.

43 Ibid., para. 20.

44 Grand Chamber, 17 January 2017, Case No. 57592/08, Hutchinson v the UK, Dissenting Opinion of judge Pinto de Albuquerque, para. 38.

45 See the literature referred to in n. 1.

46 For a different and broader take, see E. Brems, ‘The “Logics” of Procedural-Type Review by the European Court of Human Rights’, in Gerards and Brems, supra n. 1, at p. 18–34.

47 For this connection, see also A. Sathanapally, ‘The Modest Promise of “Procedural Review” in Fundamental Rights Cases’, in Gerards and Brems, supra n. 1, at p. 49–56.

48 Rose-Ackerman et al., supra n. 1, at p.185.

49 See A. Kavanagh, ‘Proportionality and Parliamentary Debates: Exploring Some Forbidden Territory’, 34 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2014) p. 445–446; R. Masterman, ‘Process and Substance in Judicial Review in the United Kingdom and at Strasbourg: Proportionality, Subsidiarity, Complementarity?’, in Gerards and Brems, supra n. 1, at p. 243.

50 Kavanagh, supra n. 49, p. 456–463.

51 See Reiertsen, M., The European Convention on Human Rights’ Article 13. Past, present and future (PhD thesis, University of Oslo 2017).

52 On constitutional pluralism, see Goldoni, supra n. 2, 926–949.

53 J. Ely, Democracy and Distrust (Harvard University Press 1980); Goldfeld, V., ‘Legislative due process and simple interest group politics ensuring minimal deliberation through judicial review of congressional processes’, (2004) 79 NYU L Rev 396 .

54 See Sathanapally, supra n. 47, at p. 56–60 for guidelines to assess the deliberative nature of the parliamentary process.

55 Messerschmidt, K., ‘The Race to Rationality Review and the Score of the German Federal Constitutional Court’, 6 Legisprudence (2012) p. 361 .

56 K. Messerschmidt, Gesetsgebungsermessen (Nomos 2000) p. 865–874; Oliver-Lallana, A.D., ‘On the (Judicial) Method to Review the (Legislative) Method’, 3 TPLeg (2016) p. 139 .

57 ECtHR 1 July 2014, Grand Chamber, Case No. 43 835/11, S.A.S. v France, para. 129. See also R. Spano, ‘The European Court of Human Rights and National courts: a constructive conversation or a dialogue of disrespect’, Torkel Opsahl Memorial Lecture 2014, Norwegian Center for Human Rights, 28 November 2014, p. 6.

58 Legg, A., The Margin of Appreciation in International Human Rights Law: Deference and Proportionality (Oxford University Press 2012) p. 17 ; Saul, M., ‘The European Court of Human Rights’ Margin of Appreciation and the Processes of National Parliaments’, 15 Human Rights Law Review (2015) p. 7 .

59 Popelier and Van De Heyning, supra n. 33, p. 10–12.

60 J. Gerards, ‘Procedural Review by the ECtHR: A Typology’, in Gerards and Brems, supra n. 1, p. 145.

61 Alemanno, A., ‘The Emergence of the Evidence-based Judicial Reflex: A Response to Bar-Siman-Tov’s Semiprocedural Review’, 1 TPLeg (2013) p. 1 ; K. Messerschmidt, ‘The Procedural Review of Legislation and the Substantive Review of Legislation: Opponents or Allies?’, in Messerschmidt and Oliver-Lalana, supra n. 1, p. 375, 391.

62 Çali, B. et al., ‘The Legitimacy of Human Rights Courts: A Grounded Interpretivist Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights’, 35 Human Rights Quarterly (2013) p. 959 .

63 Brems, supra n. 46, p. 22–23; S. Lambrecht, ‘Assessing the Existence of Criticism of the European Court of Human Rights’, in P. Popelier et al. (eds), Criticism of the European Court of Human Rights (Cambridge, Intersentia 2016) p. 522–524; A. Nussberger, ‘Procedural Review by the ECtHR: View from the Court’, in Gerards and Brems, supra n. 1, p. 172–173.

64 See in this sense G. Lübbe-Wolff, ‘Constitutional Courts and Democracy. Facets of an Ambivalent Relationship’, in Messerschmidt and Oliver-Lalana, supra n. 1, p. 21.

65 Most research concentrates on the US Supreme Court, although empirical analysis of European Constitutional Courts is on the rise. See most recently De Jaegere, J., Judicial Review and Strategic Behaviour (Intersentia 2019).

66 Gerards, supra n 60.

67 Nussberger, supra n. 63, p. 163.

68 Masterman, supra n. 49, p. 249.

69 This was the position advanced in Popelier and Van De Heyning, supra n. 35.

70 Nussberger, supra n. 63, p. 167.

71 Brems, supra n. 46, p. 21.

72 Sathanapally, supra n. 47, p. 74–75.

73 Lenaerts, K., ‘The European Court of Justice and process-oriented review’, Research Papers in Law (Bruges, College of Bruges, 2012) p. 1516 .

74 Nussberger, supra n. 63, p. 174.

75 ECtHR 30 March 2005 and Grand Chamber 6 October 2005, Case No. 74 025/01, Hirst (No 2) v the United Kingdom, para. 41 resp. 61.

76 Hatton v the United Kingdom, supra n. 3, paras. 100, 103.

77 ECtHR 14 February 2006, Case No. 67 847/01, Lecarpentier v France, para. 44.

78 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, para. 104.

79 At para. 123 – a consideration criticised in the Joint Dissenting Opinion of judges Ziemele, Sajó, Kalaydjieva, Vucinic and De Gaetano, para. 15.

80 ECtHR 20 November 2018, Case No. 44 873/09, Ognevenko v Russia, para. 67.

81 Paras. 76–78.

82 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, paras. 108, 113. While the Court also gave substantive arguments, observers criticized the substantial reduction of intensity of the substantive examination, Lewis, supra n. 7, p. 468.

83 ECtHR, 28 March 2006, Case No. 13716/02, Sukhovetskyy v Ukraine.

84 For example, ECtHR 11 December 2018, Case No. 36480/07, Lekić v Slovenia.

85 Saul, supra n. 58, at p. 749.

86 For this dilemma, see Messerschmidt, supra n. 61, p. 386.

87 Messerschmidt, supra n. 55, p. 365. In this it differs from judicial review of the legislative process: Bar-Siman-Tov, I., ‘The Puzzling Resistance to Judicial Review of the Legislative Process’, 91 Boston University Law Review (2011) p. 1925 .

88 Bar-Siman-Tov, I., ‘Semiprocedural Judicial Review’, 6 Legisprudence (2012) p. 294 .

89 Goldfeld, supra n. 53, p. 391–392.

90 Bar-Siman-Tov, supra n. 88, p. 294. Contra: Messerschmidt, supra n. 61, p. 397.

91 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, para. 78.

92 Grand Chamber 27 June 2017, Case No. 931/13, Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v Finland, para. 193.

93 The majority was reproached for requiring an examination of alternatives, whereas this had been not required of the legislature in other cases: Opinion para. 20. In addition, the judge felt that the scrutiny performed by the Russian courts had not been taken seriously.

94 This is how the German Constitutional Court uses procedural rationality review, see Messerschmidt, supra n. 61, p. 373–403.

95 Dissenting Opinion Judges Sajó and Karakas, para. 19.

96 Brems, supra n. 46, p. 35.

97 See also Nussberger, supra n. 63, p. 168.

98 Mak, E., ‘Judicial Review of Regulatory Instruments: The Least Imperfect Alternative?’, 6 Legisprudence (2012) p. 301 .

99 Popelier, supra n. 4, p. 261–262, with references to the case law.

100 ECtHR, 27 September 1999, Case No. 33985/96, Smith and Grady v the United Kingdom, para. 95.

101 ECtHR, 10 March 2011, Case No. 2700/10, Kiyutin v Russia, para. 67.

102 ECtHR 22 May 2018, Case No. 846/16, Zelenchuk and Tsytsyura v Ukraine.

103 [2006] EWHC 3069 (Admin), para. 93.

104 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, para. 119.

105 Briant, S., ‘Dialogue, diplomacy and defiance: prisoners’ voting rights at home and in Strasbourg’, 11 European Human Rights Law Review (2011) p. 248250 .

106 Gerards, supra n. 60, p. 131.

107 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, para. 114.

108 Dissenting Opinion of Judge Tulkens, Joined by Judges Spielmann and Laffranque, para. 17.

109 Animal Defenders International v The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (EWHC), supra n. 10, paras. 103–104.

110 Animal Defenders International v The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (UKHL), supra n. 10, para. 17.

111 Animal Defenders International v The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (UKHL), supra n. 10, para. 22.

112 Animal Defenders International v The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (UKHL), supra n. 10, para. 31.

113 Animal Defenders International v the United Kingdom, supra n. 5, para. 122.

114 Hatton v the United Kingdom, supra n. 3.

115 Grand Chamber, Case No. 46470/11, 27 August 2015, Parillo v Italy, 184, 185, 188.

116 Ibid., Dissenting Opinion of judge Sajó.

117 Hatton v the United Kingdom, supra n. 3, Joint Dissenting Opinions of judges Costa, Ress, Türmen, Zupancic and Steiner, para. 15.

118 Lecarpentier v France, supra n. 77.

* Full Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Antwerp. The author wishes to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

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