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As the EU's fundamental rights regime reaches maturity, this book offers the first full-length overview of the historical development and current role of fundamental rights in the law and policy of the European Union.
It analyses both the institutional aspects (the place of fundamental rights in the EU legal order and their role in decision-making procedures) and substantive dimensions (the range and scope of rights recognized as part of EU law).
Part I traces the emergence of fundamental rights as a feature of the EU legal order, from the initial silence of the original Treaties to the development of fundamental rights as general principles of law safeguarded by the European Court of Justice, and the adoption of a number of legislative instruments linking the protection of certain fundamental rights to the establishment of the internal market.
Part II moves on to examine fundamental rights in the current landscape of EU law and policy. It analyses the constitutionalization of fundamental rights through Treaty amendments and the development of an area of freedom, security and justice among the Member States. It examines the role of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and of the Fundamental Rights Agency; and the relationship between the EU and the Council of Europe in the protection of human rights on the European continent.
Finally, Part III offers a critical analysis of the role of fundamental rights in the external relations of the EU.
As a whole, the book offers an ideal introduction to understanding the European Union as a human rights organization, suitable for use by graduate students, and an invaluable reference point for academics and legal practitioners needing an overview of EU fundamental rights law and policy.