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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EU responsibility law and international responsibility law for human rights violations after the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights: the remaining questions

Daniela Cardoso
LL.M Law in a European and Global Context, Católica Global School of Law

Considering the major feature that underpins the European project – the creation and consolidation of the internal market – the European Union (hereafter EU) is not truly a human rights organisation. Indeed, it may be designated as a regional economic integration organization (REIOs).[1] Nonetheless, respect for human rights is a condition of the lawfulness of Community acts.[2] In fact, the need to give a more consistent protection to human rights is firmly rooted in the Draft Agreement on the Accession of the EU to the ECHR, adopted in July 2011.[3]

With the accession of the European Union (EU) to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the allocation of responsibility between Member States and the EU embraces new challenges, partly motivated by the existing contradictions between the international framework on responsibility for human rights violations and the special EU law of responsibility.

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