Acceding to the ECHR notwithstanding the Court of Justice Opinion 2/13

von Leonard F.M. Besselink

The Court’s Opinion on the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights may have shattered expectations. Who had thought that the revised accession agreement that was renegotiated by the EU and its Member States with the State Parties to the ECHR, after an initial rejection in the Council by the UK and France, would be dodged by the Court? After all, on all the points that the Court and its President had made known to the negotiators, namely the guaranteed ‘prior involvement’, the Court seemed to have been granted a privileged position, that has not been granted to any other court of any of the parties to the ECHR. Was the Court’s membership of the Council Committee in charge of supervising the negotiations on this and other points in vain?

It is too early to give an in-depth assessment of the position taken by the Court on various points. We do now know that we have to take the President seriously when he announced in the plenary debate at the closing session of the FIDE Conference 2014 powerfully:

The Court is not a human rights court: it is the Supreme Court of the Union.

So, what is next? Tobias Lock in his very fast and intelligent comment answered that question by stating that ‘[i]t is clear that the drafters of the DAA will have to return to the negotiating table’. I respectfully disagree.

Whether one finds the Court’s rejection and its concept of autonomy a form of autarky or a symptom of autism, and whether or not its judges behave like Humpty Dumpty, spoilt brats, or overly severe schoolmasters dealing out a bad marks to the Commission, the reality is that there is little political prospect that the non-EU parties to the ECHR will be willing to reopen the negotiations on accession, and give up all the compromises that in the end they were willing to strike. I refer in particular to Switzerland, Turkey and the Russian Federation ...

Zum vollständigen Artikel

Cookies helfen bei der Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch die Nutzung erklären Sie sich mit der Cookie-Setzung einverstanden. Mehr OK