How does the professional background of a future EU judge in the ECtHR matter?

Kaja Kaźmierska, English Law and German Law LLB & M.LL.P, King’s College London/Humboldt University;  EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies, MA, College of Europe

The EU is supposed to join the ECHR, as provided by Article 6(2) TEU.[1] The agreement between the two institutions was reached in April 2013, as a result of negotiations which commenced in June 2010.[2] However, the CJEU issued its Opinion regarding the agreement on the 18th of December 2014, declaring the agreement incompatible with EU law which significantly slowed down the accession process.[3] Nevertheless, the EU’s accession to the ECHR is still expected, which would fundamentally shift the balance within the European mechanism of human rights protection. Upon joining, the EU will be granted a voice in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), as there will be one EU judge in the Strasbourg Court, along with one for every Council of Europe Member State. As a result, there will be 29 judges from the EU – one from every country and the EU judge. Continue reading

Opinion 2/13: Some Further Reflections

Veronica Shleina: LL.B King’s College London, LL.M Candidate University College London

Introduction

In December 2014[1] the CJEU “dropped its Christmas bombshell”[2] declaring the Draft Agreement on the Accession to the ECHR[3] incompatible with EU law, thereby deeming the future accession almost impossible. While some of the concerns that Luxembourg addresses seem plausible, overall the Opinion appears to be a disappointing incarnation of playground politics. It is clear that despite the CJEU’s view, there is a real need for accession.

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Would the UK be forced to exit the EU if it exits the ECHR?

Mr Émile T. McHarsky-Todoroff LL.B (Surrey) LL.M Candidate (LSE), Associate Tutor in EU Law (University of Surrey) and Legal Consultant (Spectrum Legal Consulting).

There has been a considerable degree of noise around both the concept of “Brexit” (a potential UK exit from the EU) and the possibility of the UK withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) in some fashion. Leaving political arguments to one side, this blog post is interested in whether these two hypotheticals may interconnect; specifically, whether a UK exit from the ECHR would entail that the UK has to also leave the EU. This immediately begs the question of what one means by “has to”. If this is taken to mean a legal requirement that the UK leaves the EU should it choose to withdraw from the ECHR, then the answer is a flat “no”.  While the Lisbon Treaty introduced the machinery for a Member State to leave the Union (now Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)),[1] there is no “foot to backside” rule in the EU; in other words there is no Treaty provision which specifically allows for a Member State to be ejected from the EU.[2] Therefore, this post will aim to explore the different legal tools which could be used to push the UK out of the EU door. Continue reading

Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Amanda Spalding, PhD Candidate, King’s College London, The Dickson Poon School of Law – Teaching Fellow, SOAS, School of Law

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has finally given its opinion as to the validity of the draft agreement on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention of Human Rights. Unfortunately, it found that the draft agreement is not compatible with EU law. This is a significant set-back to an already complex and drawn-out process of accession.

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The EU accession to the ECHR: is it needed?  

Veronica Shleina
LLB (Hons) King’s College London; LLM Student University College London

The former European Community (EC) could hardly be associated with protection of human rights: the dominant idea underlying the Community was, originally, the creation of economic union and the establishment of a common market. Although there was a limited number of social policies, these developed on an ad hoc basis and ‘were limited and applied primarily to economic areas’[1]. After the revolutionary decision in Van Gend en Loos[2] the situation started to change: an alternate vision of the Community began to develop, which aimed to protect individual rights.

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