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Law Notes European Human Rights Law Notes

Fundamental Rights And General Principles Notes

Updated Fundamental Rights And General Principles Notes

European Human Rights Law Notes

European Human Rights Law

Approximately 305 pages

European Human Rights law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge, UK. These notes cover all the major European Human Rights cases and are perfect for anyone doing an LLB , or masters level legal study in the UK. Due to the international element to this subject, these notes will be an excellent supplement for those doing LLBs abroad....

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our European Human Rights Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

General principles and fundamental rights

Article 6 TEU:

1) The Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the CFREU, which shall have the same legal value as the treaties.

3) Fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions of the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union’s law.

Article 7 TEU:

On a reasoned proposal by one-third of the Member States, by the EP or ECom, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the EP, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2.

The Member State may address recommendations to it, but if there is held to be a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2, the Council may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government.

Article 19 TEU:

The Court of Justice of the European Union… shall ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed.

The Member States shall provide remedies sufficient to ensure effective legal protection in the fields covered by EU law.

Article 263 TFEU:

The Court of Justice of the European Union shall review the legality of a wide range of acts… on grounds of lack of competence, infringement of an essential procedural requirement, infringement of the Treaties or of any rule of law relating to their application, or misuse of powers.

Examples of general principles

Ruckdeschel: the general principle of equality, which requires that similar situations shall not be treated differently unless differentiation is objectively justified.

Mulder: establishes a general principle of legitimate expectations, in the context of striking down an additional levy on milk.

Bela-Muhle: Obligation to purchase skimmed-milk powder held to be disproportionate.

However notice limits

  • Chacon Navas: the principle of non-discrimination does not apply in all contexts… and so could not be held to apply in the context of discrimination on grounds of sickness.

  • Audiolux: ‘… the mere fact that secondary Community legislation lays down certain provisions relating to the protection of minority shareholders is not sufficient in itself to establish the existence of a general principle of Community law, in particular if the scope of those provisions is limited to rights which are well-defined and certain.’ ‘Those provisions are essentially limited to regulating very specific company-law situations by imposing on companies certain obligations for the protection of all shareholders. They do not therefore possess the general, comprehensive character which is otherwise naturally inherent in the general principles of law.’

Fundamental rights

Internationale Handesgesellschaft

Regulations governing the deposit of maize were said to be in conflict with the German basic law: obligation of importing or exporting was said to conflict with freedom of action and economic liberty. How would the EU system deal with such conflicts?

At para 3: , the law stemming from the Treaty, an independent source of law, cannot because of its very nature be overridden by rules of national law, however framed, without being deprived of its character as Community law and without the legal basis of the Community itself being called in question. Therefore the validity of a Community measure or its effect within a Member State cannot be affected by allegations that it runs counter to either fundamental rights as formulated by the constitution of that State or the principles of a national constitutional structure. This argument clearly hinges on efficacy.

At para 4, the save: However, an examination should be made as to whether or not any analogous guarantee inherent in Community law has been disregarded. In fact, respect for fundamental rights forms an integral part of the general principles of law protected by the Court of Justice. The protection of such rights, whilst inspired by the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, must be ensured within the framework of the structure and objectives of the Community. It must therefore be ascertained, in the light of the doubts expressed by the Verwaltungsgericht, whether the system of deposits has infringed rights of a fundamental nature, respect for which must be ensured in the Community legal system.

SPUC v Grogan

Concerned the abortion rules in Ireland- Grogan was a student issuing information on how to get an abortion. 3 concerns:

  1. Is abortion a service, so that it can come under the four freedoms? Yes, moral disgust was no answer to the fact that abortion was a service provided for remuneration.

  2. Can a member State prohibit the spreading of information about how to get an abortion? The link between providing information on how to get abortions and the freedom to provide such services was too tenuous- no restriction under Art 59 of the Treaty

  3. Is there a right at Community law to distribute abortion information when the practice is banned in the member state in question? The Court has no jurisdiction with regard to national legislation lying outside the scope of Community law. In view of the facts of the case and of the conclusions which the Court has reached with regard to Art 59, the prohibition at issue did not fall within the scope of Community law.

‘…it is not contrary to Community law for a Member State in which medical termination of pregnancy is forbidden to prohibit students associations from distributing information about the identity and location of clinics in another Member State where voluntary termination of pregnancy is lawfully carried out and the means of communicating with those clinics, where the clinics in question have no involvement in...

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