Will the empire strike back? Strasbourg’s reaction to the CJEU’s accession opinion

von Tobias Lock

Annual reports by international courts are rarely the stuff of controversy or harbingers of judicial conflict. Thus the strongly worded response to the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) Opinion 2/13 (here) in the annual report of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) presented by President Spielmann yesterday warrants a few comments (a provisional version can be found here).

It is recalled that the CJEU considered the draft agreement on the EU’s accession to the ECHR to be incompatible with the Treaties on a number of grounds. Academic criticism followed promptly, not least on this blog (here). The short passage in the President’s foreword to the ECtHR’s annual report, probably squeezed in in the last minute, constitutes a first reaction by the institution most affected by the Opinion. It is worth reproducing the full quote here:

The end of the year was also marked by the delivery on 18 December 2014 of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) eagerly awaited opinion on the draft agreement on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights. Bearing in mind that negotiations on European Union accession have been under way for more than thirty years, that accession is an obligation under the Lisbon Treaty and that all the member States along with the European institutions had already stated that they considered the draft agreement compatible with the Treaties on European Union and the Functioning of the European Union, the CJEU’s unfavourable opinion is a great disappointment. Let us not forget, however, that the principal victims will be those citizens whom this opinion (no. 2/13) deprives of the right to have acts of the European Union subjected to the same external scrutiny as regards respect for human rights as that which applies to each member State ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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