Wednesday 4 March 2009

EU & ECHR: Uneasy Neighbours?

If the European Union's Lisbon Treaty will ever enter into force, the European Union will be able to accede to the European Convention of Human Rights. That would be a new chapter in the continuously debated relation between the Courts in Strasbourg and Luxembourg. The newest issue of the renowned Common Market Law Review (2009, vol. 46, no. 1) takes stock of this relation in two articles:

* Plate tectonics in Luxembourg: the ménage à trois between EC law, international law and the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights following the UN sanctions cases, by B. Kunoy and A. Dawes (p. 73-104).
* The European Court of Justice and its relations with the European Court of Human Rights: the quest for enhanced reliance, coherence and legitimacy, by G. Harpaz (p. 105-142).

For those interested in the matter from the perspective of the Court's case law, I can recommend a recent decision on non-admissibility of the European Court of Human Rights: Cooperatieve Producentenorganisatie van de Nederlandse Kokkelvisseij U.A. v. the Netherlands. In this decision, the Court re-emphasized its ruling in the (in)famous Bosphorus case (2005) stating that the mechanisms functioning within the EU are presumed to offer equivalent protection to the one that state parties should offer under the ECHR. In this particular decision, the Court held that the applicants had not been able to rebut this presumption in relation to the preliminary ruling procedure and the role of the Advocate-General in it.