The interplay between the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU-Charter of Fundamental Rights

The enclosed Powerpoint relates to a presentation given on the occasion of the launch at the Council of Europe, on 13 November last, of the HELP Course on the Interplay between the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU-Charter of Fundamental Rights. It is accessible here.

This course is one of the very few commendable initiatives undertaken so far to comprehensively explain, in an on-line format, the interplay between these two major European sources of fundamental rights. It is a very promising tool designed to help legal practitioners come to terms with that duality which, while globally ensuring quite some convergence between Strasbourg and Luxembourg, e.g. in the field of procedural rights or judicial independence, also generates some differences which should not downplayed, given their impact on the respective protection levels in several important areas.

The key to more convergence is a wholistic approach. It should allow European law-makers and caselaw-makers alike, while remaining within their own competences, to nonetheless look beyond the limits of their respective legal systems and to ensure as much compatibility as possible between the co-existing sources of fundamental rights, which will help domestic judges discharge their complex task of applying those sources simultaneously. The on-going judicial dialogue between the two European Courts is a major contribution towards achieving this.

The enclosed presentation gives an overview of recent case-law relating to this interplay, with an emphasis on judgments by the European Court of Human Rights illustrating the control exercised by the latter over compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights when domestic courts apply Union law. Interestingly, the breaches of the Convention identified in this case-law result not only from faithful applications of EU law, as in Bivolaru and Moldovan v. France or Šneersone and Kampanella v. Italy, but also from shortcomings in the application of EU law, as in Veres v. Spain or Spasov v. Romania.