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The Relationship Between the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights: an Originalist Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2015

Abstract

European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights: relationship – Teleological method of interpretation of the European Court of Justice: meaning, justifications, and criticisms – Originalist method of interpretation: meaning, justifications, and criticisms – Original meaning of Article 52(3) of the Charter: text, drafting history, case law – Conclusion: case law of European Court of Human Rights not strictly binding on the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2015 

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Footnotes

*

LL.B., Ph.D. (Trinity College Dublin); Judicial Assistant, High Court of Ireland.

References

1 Harris, D. et al., Law of the European Convention on Human Rights, 2nd edn. (Oxford University Press 2009) p. 1Google Scholar.

2 See Preamble to the Charter.

3 For discussion of the human rights jurisprudence of the ECJ prior to the Lisbon Treaty, see Chalmers, D. et al., European Union Law, 2nd edn. (Cambridge University Press 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar Chapter 6.

4 Hartley, T.C., ‘The European Court, Judicial Objectivity and the Constitution of the European Union112 Law Quarterly Review (1996) p. 95Google Scholar at p. 96.

5 ECJ 15 July 1964, Case C-6/64.

6 ECJ 4 February 1959, Case 1/58, Stork v High Authority.

7 See Solange I, BVerfGE 37, 271 2 BvL 52/71 (German Constitutional Court); Spa Fragd v Amministrazione delle Finanze, Dec. 232 of 21 April 1989 (1989) 72 RDI (Italian Constitutional Court).

8 ECJ 17 December 1970, Case C-11/70.

9 Ibid., para. 3.

10 Ibid., para. 4.

11 ECJ 22 February 1988, Case 302/87.

12 ECJ 4 October 1991, Case 70/88.

13 Ibid., para. 27. See Lasser, M. De S-O-l’E., Judicial Deliberations: a Comparative Analysis of Judicial Transparency and Legitimacy (Oxford University Press 2004) p. 225-227Google Scholar.

14 Ibid., para. 26

15 Lasser, supra n. 13, p. 225-227.

16 See, for example, Schermers, H. G. and Waelbroeck, D. F., Judicial Protection in the European Union, 6th edn. (Kluwer Law International 2001) p. 21Google Scholar.

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22 For background in relation to the EPC Treaty, see de Búrca, supra n. 20.

23 See, for example, Slynn, G., ‘The Court of Justice of the European Communities33 Int’l & Comp L Q (1984) p. 409CrossRefGoogle Scholar at p. 416-418.

24 ECJ 9 March 1978, Case 106/77.

25 ECJ 15 July 1964, Case C-6/64.

26 Ibid., para. 21.

27 Ibid., para. 20.

28 See, for example, Raitio, J., ‘The Interpretation of Community Law’, 7 Finnish YB Int’l L (1996) p. 369Google Scholar at p. 376.

29 Hartley, T.C., Constitutional Problems of the European Union (Hart Publishing 1999) p. 60Google Scholar.

30 Art. 55 TEU.

31 Millett, T., ‘Rules of Interpretation of EEC Legislation’, 10 Statute L Rev (1989) p. 163CrossRefGoogle Scholar, p. 164-165.

32 For an example, see Hartley, supra n. 29, p. 72.

33 Fennelly, N., ‘Legal Interpretation at the European Court of Justice’, 20 Fordham Int’l LJ (1996-1997) p. 656Google Scholar at p. 665.

34 For the view that the court exceeds the meaning of the text in all language versions on occasion, see Rinze, J., ‘Methods of Interpretation in EC Law’, 26 Bracton Law Journal (1994) p. 57Google Scholar at p. 60.

35 ECJ 26 February 2013, Case C-617/10, Åklagaren v Hans Åkerberg Fransson.

36 Brittain, S., ‘The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Member States: an Originalist Analysis’, 36 Dublin University Law Journal (2013) p. 277Google Scholar at p. 291-297.

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39 Hartley, T.C., The Foundations of EC Law, 6th edn (Oxford University Press 2007) p. 74Google Scholar.

40 ECJ 29 June 1978, Case 142/77.

41 Ibid., para. 23.

42 Ibid., para. 26.

43 Lasser, supra n. 13, p. 207-236.

44 For a thorough description of the highly general nature of the court’s teleological approach, see Lasser, supra n. 13, p. 207-236.

45 ECJ 31 March 1971, Case 22/70.

46 Ibid., para. 30.

47 Ibid., para. 48. However, the court noted that Art. 3 of Regulation No 543/69 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport [1969] OJ L 77 had conferred a limited competence to enter into international agreements necessary to give effect to that regulation.

48 Ibid., para. 30.

49 Schauer, F., ‘Formalism’, 97 Yale LJ (1988) p. 509 at p. 534CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

50 ECJ 8 April 1976, Case 43/75, Defrenne v SABENA.

51 Ibid., paras. 30-40.

52 Conway, G., The Limits of Legal Reasoning and the European Court of Justice (Cambridge University Press 2012) p. 94Google Scholar.

53 ECJ 17 December 1970, Case 11/70.

54 Art. 45, Draft Treaty on European Political Community.

55 Simms, B., Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy 1453 to the Present (Penguin Books 2014) p. 420Google Scholar.

56 de Búrca, supra n. 20.

57 Langwaller, D., ‘The Incoherence of Historicism and Originalism in Irish Constitutional Interpretation’, 4 Ind L Rev (2008) p. 17Google Scholar at p. 20.

58 Ibid., p. 20.

59 554 U.S. 570 (2008). See also Justice Thomas McDonaldChicago 561 U.S. 3025 (2010).

60 Ibid., (internal quotation marks omitted).

61 Ibid., p. 403-410. Easterbrook, F.H., ‘Alternatives to Originalism?’, 19 Harv J L Pub Pol’y (1996) p. 479Google Scholar.

62 Art. 48.4 TEU.

63 For a similar argument, see Calabresi, S.G. and Fine, L., ‘Two Cheers for Professor Balkin’s Originalism’, 103 Nw U L Rev (2009) p. 663Google Scholar at p. 683.

64 Barnett, R.E.Restoring the Lost Constitution (Princeton University Press 2004) p. 101-102Google Scholar.

65 Barnett, supra, n. 64, p. 101-102.

66 Scalia, A. and Garner, B.A., Reading Law: the Interpretation of Legal Texts (West 2012) p. 16Google Scholar.

67 Scalia, A., A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (Princeton University Press 1997) p. 24Google Scholar.

68 Miller, S., ‘Interpreting Intent: An Analysis of the Doctrine of Originalism’, 5 Dartmouth LJ (2007) p. 226Google Scholar at p. 234-235.

69 497 U.S. 836 (1990).

70 Wildenthal, B.A., ‘The Right of Confrontation, Justice Scalia, and the Power and Limits of Textualism’, 48 Wash & Lee L Rev (1991) p. 1323Google Scholar at p. 1390.

71 Perry, M.J., The Constitution in the Courts: Law or Politics? (Oxford University Press 1994) p. 56-59Google Scholar.

72 See, for example, Merkel, W.G., ‘District of Columbia v Heller and Antonin Scalia’s Perverse Sense of Originalism’, 13 Lewis & Clark L Rev (2009) p. 349Google Scholar.

73 Marshall, P., ‘No Political Truth: The Federalist and Justice Scalia on the Separation of Powers’, 12 U Ark Little Rock LJ (1989-1990) p. 245Google Scholar at p. 262-264.

74 Calabresi and Fine, supra n. 63, p. 335.

75 McIntyre 514 U.S. 334 (1995). See also, Michael H v Gerald D 491 U.S. 110 (1989).

76 Rossum, R.A., Antonin Scalia’s Jurisprudence: Text and Tradition (Kansas University Press 2006) p. 46-47Google Scholar.

77 Justice Thomas (dissenting) Deck v Missouri 544 U.S. 622 (2005).

78 Raz, J.The Authority of Law, 2nd edn (OUP 2009) p. 295-297Google Scholar.

79 McConnell, M., ‘Textualism and the Dead Hand of the Past’, 66 George Wash L Rev (1997) p. 1127Google Scholar.

80 For the view that Justice Scalia’s opinions indicate an adherence to the theory of ‘self-government over time’, see Cole, T., ‘Scalia and the Institutional Approach to Law’, 34 U Tol L Rev (2003) p. 559Google Scholar at p. 569.

81 McConnell, supra n. 79, p. 1135-1136.

82 Calabresi, S.G., ‘Introduction’, in S.G. Calabresi (ed.), Originalism: a Quarter Century of Debate (Regnery Publishing 2007) p. 8Google Scholar.

83 R.H. Bork, Speech at the University of San Diego Law School, November 18th, 1985, in Calabresi, supra n. 82, p. 88.

84 Franklin, C., ‘The Legal Status of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after the Treaty of Lisbon’, 15 Tilburg L Rev (2010-2011) p. 137CrossRefGoogle Scholar at p. 158.

85 Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Merriam-Webster 1988) p. 293.

86 See also Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 2nd edn (Oxford University Press 2012) ‘correspond. If one thing is similar or analogous to another, or related closely to it, it is said to correspond to it…’.

87 Greenberg, D., Stroud’s Judicial Dictionary, 8th edn (Sweet & Maxwell 2012) vol. 1, p. 617Google Scholar. See also Saunders, J.B. (ed.), Words and Phrases Legally Defined, 3rd edn (Butterworths 1988) vol. 1, p. 354Google Scholar.

88 The French version of Art. 52(3) uses the word ‘correspondant’: see Oxford Hachette French Dictionary (Oxford University Press 1997) p. 188 ‘… I ... corresponding; … matching’. The German version uses the term ‘entsprechen’: see Scholze-Stubenrecht, W. et al., Oxford German Dictionary, 3rd edn (Oxford University Press 2005) p. 228Google Scholar ‘…correspond to sth…’; Dietl, C.EDictionary of Legal, Commercial and Political Terms (Matthew Bender & Company Inc New York 1983) p. 229Google Scholar ‘…to correspond to, to conform to; to be in accordance with; …to match; …to meet, answer; to comply with…’. The Italian version uses the word ‘corrispondenti’: see Oxford-Paravia: Il Dizionario Inglese/Italiano, Italiano/Inglese, 3rd edn (Oxford University Press 2010) p. 1704-1705 ‘…1 corresponding…’. The Spanish version uses the word ‘correspondan’: see Gran Diccionario: Espanol-Ingles: English-Spanish Dictionary: Unabridged Edition (Larousse 1993) p. 182 ‘corresponder…to correspond, to match…’. The Finnish version uses the verb ‘vastata’: see R. Hurme et al. (eds.), English-Finnish General Dictionary, 3rd edn (Werner Sodestrom Osakeyhtio) p. 1342-1343 ‘4…correspond to ... to be the counterpart of; …represent …be equivalent to…’. The Estonian version uses the phrase ‘mit vastavad’: see Saagpakk, P. K., Eesti-Inglise Sonaraamat / Estonian-English Dictionary (Koolibri 1982) p. 1072Google Scholar ‘vastav … a. corresponding (to smth.), answerable, …adequate, appropriate, suitable … proportionate … pertinent …; condign …; parallel; (case); …congruous …commensurate (to, with) …consistent (with) …to correspond (to), to answer to…’. The Irish version uses the word ‘freagair’: see de Bhaldraithe, T. (ed.), Niall Ó Dónaill Foclóir Gaeilge Béarla (Rialtas na hÉireann 1977) p. 579Google Scholar ‘1. … (b) (With do) ~ t do rud, to answer, correspond, to sth…’. The Polish version uses the word ‘odpowiadac’: see Oxford Essential Polish Dictionary (Oxford University Press 2010) p. 94 ‘3 ~ czemus correspond to sth…conform to sth’. The Slovene version uses the word ‘ustrezajo’: see Grad, A. and Leeming, H., Slovene-English Dictionary (DZS 1993) p. 728Google Scholar ‘ustrezati to suit; to answer, to meet, to correspond …’. The Greek version uses the word ‘αντιστοιχούν’: see Magazis, G.A., Standard Dictionary: Greek-English/English-Greek (Langenscheidt 1990) p. 477Google Scholar ‘αντιστοιχούν correspond, correlate’.

89 ECJ 24 November 2011, Case C-70/10.

90 Opinion of AG Cruz Villalón, 14 April 2011, Case C-70/10, at para. 31.

91 Explanations Relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, 2007/C 303/02.

92 Greenberg, supra n. 87, vol. 2, p. 1781. For a similar definition, see Saunders, supra n. 87, vol. 3, p. 118.

93 Webster’s, supra n. 85, p. 1053.

94 ‘Summary of the meeting held on 23 July 2002 chaired by Commissioner Antonio Vitorino’ CONV 223/02 WG II 8, p. 6.

95 For a similar interpretation of the word ‘scope,’ see Explanations Relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, 2007/C 303/02. See also Weiß, W., ‘Human rights in the EU: rethinking the role of the European Convention on Human Rights after Lisbon’, 7 ECL Rev (2011) p. 64Google Scholar at p. 70.

96 Scalia and Garner, supra n. 66, p. 112-114.

97 Emphasis added.

98 Winkler, R., ‘The Right to Education according to Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union’, 1 Int’l J Educ L & Pol’y (2005) p. 60Google Scholar at p. 64.

99 Kelo v City of New London 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

100 For a similar view, see Weiß, supra n. 95, p. 84.

101 ‘Comments of the Council of Europe observers on the draft Charter’ CHARTE 4961/00, CONTRIB 356, 13 November 2000, p. 2.

102 See, for example, ‘Contribution of Lord GOLDSMITH, Personal Representative of the Government of the United Kingdom’ CHARTE 4146/00, CONTRIB 36, 6 March 2000, p. 3-4.

103 ‘Letter to the Convention by Mr. Frits KORTHALS ALTES, Representative of the Government of the Netherlands, relating to horizontal articles’ CHARTE 4406/00, CONTRIB 262, 6 July 2000, p. 2. See also Goldsmith, Lord, ‘The Charter of Rights – a brake not an accelerator’, 5 E H R L Rev (2004) p. 473Google Scholar at p. 477.

104 Explanations Relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, 2007/C 303/02.

105 Murray, J.L., ‘The Influence of the European Convention on Fundamental Rights on Community Law’, 33 Fordham Int’l LJ (2009-2010) p. 1388Google Scholar at p. 1402.

106 Guild, E. and Lesieur, G., The European Court of Justice on the European Convention on Human Rights: Who Said What, When? (Kluwer Law International 1998)Google Scholar.

107 ‘Record of the first meeting of the Body to draw up a draft Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union’ CHARTE 4105/00 BODY 1, 17 December 1999, p. 8.

108 ‘The Council of Europe’s contribution to a European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights’ CHARTE 4105/00 BODY 1, 17 December 1999, p. 26-27.

109 ‘Contribution of Lord GOLDSMITH, Personal Representative of the Government of the United Kingdom’ CHARTE 4146/00, CONTRIB 36, 6 March 2000, p. 3-4.

110 ‘NOTE FROM THE PRAESIDIUM Subject : Draft Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union − Horizontal clauses’ CHARTE 4235/00, CONVENT 27, 18 April 2000, p. 3.

111 ‘Amendments submitted by the members of the Convention regarding social rights and the horizontal clauses,’ Brussels, 16 June 2000, CHARTE 4372/00, CONVENT 39, p. 431.

112 ‘Summary of amendments received and of Praesidium compromise amendments on economic and social rights and on the horizontal clauses’ CHARTE 4383/00, CONVENT 41, 3 July 2000.

113 See ‘Letter to the Convention by Mr. Frits Korthals Altes, Representative of the Government of the Netherlands, relating to horizontal articles,’ CHARTE 4406/00, CONTRIB 262, 6 July 2000, p. 2.

114 CHARTE 4427/00, CONTRIB 281, 14 July 2000, p. 2.

115 ‘PRAESIDIUM NOTE Draft Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – Draft preamble’ CHARTE 4400/00, CONVENT 43, 14 July 2000, p. 1-2.

116 ‘Report from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights Council in the Parlamentary (sic) Assembly of the Council of Europe’ CHARTE 4465/00, CONTRIB 319, 14 September 2000.

117 Ibid., p. 2.

118 Peers, S., ‘Immigration, Asylum and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights’, 3 Eur J Migration & L (2001) p. 141CrossRefGoogle Scholar at p. 156-157.

119 Lock, T., ‘The ECJ and the ECtHR: the Future Relationship Between the Two European Courts’, 8 Law & Prac Int’l Cts & Tribunals (2009) p. 375Google Scholar at p. 387.

120 Lock, supra n. 119, p. 386; Peers, supra n. 118, p. 157.

121 Supra n. 116, p. 3-5 and p. 11. See also ‘Texts adopted by the Parlamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe the 29 September 2000’ CHARTE 4500/00, CONTRIB 350, 4 October 2000, p. 2-6.

122 ‘Contribution by the Council of Europe’s observers, on the draft appendix to the explanatory notes regarding the Article 51 § 3 of the Charter’ CHARTE 4479/00, CONTRIB 330, 25 September 2000, p. 2.

123 Lock, supra n. 119, p. 385.

124 ‘Communication (COM(2000) 644 final) from the Commission of the European Communities entitled ‘On the Legal Nature of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,’ CHARTE 4956/00, CONTRIB 355, p. 6

125 ‘Summary of the meeting held on 17.09.02 chaired by Commissioner António Vitorino’ Brussels, 26 September 2002 (02.10), CONV 295/02, WG II 10, p. 10.

126 de Búrca, supra n. 20, p. 490. See also Lenaerts, K.Exploring the limits of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights’, 8 ECL Rev (2012) p. 375Google Scholar at p. 396.

127 See, for example, Craig, P., ‘The Charter, the ECJ and National Courts’ in D. Ashiagbor et al. (eds.) The European Union After the Treaty of Lisbon (Cambridge Uuniversity Press 2012) p. 103Google Scholar.

128 Lock, supra n. 119, p. 385.

129 ECJ 28 February 2013, Case C-334/12.

130 Ibid., para. 43.

131 ECJ 27 September 2012, Joined Cases C-356/11 and C-357/11 S v Maahanmuuttovirasto.

132 Ibid., para. 77. See also Opinion of AG Trstenjak, 22 September 2011, Case C-493/10, M. E. & Ors v Refugee Applications Commissioner, para. 56.

133 ECJ 9 November 2010, C-92 and 93/09.

134 Ibid., para. 43.

135 See, for example, Opinion of AG Cruz Villalón, 6 December 2012, Case C-254/11, Bereg Megyei Rendőrkapitányság Záhony Határrendészeti Kirendeltsége v Shomodi, at para. 74.

136 ‘Record of the first meeting of the Body to draw up a draft Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,’ 17 December 1999, CHARTE 4105/00, BODY 1, p. 12-13.

137 See ‘Contribution by Mr Frits KORTHALS ALTES, Personal Representative of the Netherlands Government. Brussels, 8 March 2000, CHARTE 4145/00, CONTRIB 35, p. 2.

138 See Explanations Relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights (2007/C 303/02).

139 Ibid., p. 11.

140 Dekar, C., ‘JMCB. v. L.E.: The Intersection of European Union Law and Private International Law in Intra-European Union Child Abduction’, 34 Fordham Int’l LJ (2010-2011) p. 1430Google Scholar at p. 1447.

141 See, for example, Defeis, E.F., ‘Human Rights, the European Union, and the Treaty Route: From Maastricht to Lisbon’, 35 Fordham LJ p. 1207Google Scholar at p. 1226. See also Explanations Relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, 2007/C 303/02.

142 Maduro, M.P., ‘The Double Constitutional Life of the Charter of Fundamental Rights’, in E.O. Eriksen et al. (eds.), The Chartering of Europe: the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and its Constitutional Implications (Nomos-Verlagsgesellschaft 2003) p. 209Google Scholar.

143 Opinion of AG Cruz Villalón, 1 March 2011, Case C-69/10, Diouf v Ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l’Immigration.

144 Ibid., paras. 38-42

145 Opinion of AG Cruz Villalón, 12 June 2012, Case C-617/10, Åklagaren v Hans Åkerberg Fransson.

146 Ibid., paras. 75-87.

147 Ibid., para. 82.

148 Ibid., para. 84.

149 Ibid., para. 86.

150 Ibid., para. 87.

151 Ibid.

152 ECJ 26 February 2013, Case C-617/10, Åklagaren v Hans Åkerberg Fransson, paras. 33-37.

153 Opinion of AG Mengozzi, of 21 June 2012, Case C-249/11, Byankov v Glaven sekretar na Ministerstvo na vatreshnite raboti.

154 Ibid., para. 26.

155 Ibid., para. 27.

156 Ibid.

157 ECJ 4 October 2012, Case C-249/11, Hristo Byankov v Glaven sekretar na Ministerstvo na vatreshnite raboti, para. 47.

158 Opinion of AG Sharpston, 18 October 2012, Case C-396/11, Parchetul de pe lângă Curtea de Apel Constanţa v Ciprian Vasile Radu.

159 ECtHR 7 July 1989, (1989) 11 EHRR 439, Soering v United Kingdom.

160 ECtHR 7 June 2007, (2009) 49 EHRR 12, Garabayev v Russia.

161 Radu, supra n. 158, Opinion of AG Sharpston, paras. 82-83.

162 Ibid., para. 83.

163 Ibid., para. 85.