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Vol 22 No 4 April/May 2017

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The Accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights

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ISBN13: 9781849464604
Published: June 2013
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £45.00

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After more than 30 years of discussion, negotiations between the Council of Europe and the European Union on the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights have resulted in a Draft Accession Agreement. This will allow the EU to accede to the Convention within the next couple of years. As a consequence, the Union will become subject to the external judicial supervision of an international treaty regime. Individuals will also be entitled to submit applications, alleging that their fundamental rights have been violated by legal acts rooted in EU law, against the Union directly to the Strasbourg Court.

As the first comprehensive monograph on this topic, this book examines the concerns for the EU's legal system in relation to accession and the question whether and how accession and the system of human rights protection under the Convention can be effectively reconciled with the autonomy of EU law. It also takes into account how this objective can be attained without jeopardising the current system of individual human rights protection under the Convention. The main chapters deal with the legal status and rank of the Convention and the Accession Agreement within Union law after accession, the external review of EU law by Strasbourg and the potential subordination of the Luxembourg Court, the future of individual applications and the so-called co-respondent mechanism, the legal arrangement of inter-party cases after accession and the presumable clash of jurisdictions between Strasbourg and Luxembourg; and the interplay between the Convention's subsidiarity principle (the exhaustion of local remedies) and the prior involvement of the Luxembourg Court in EU-related cases.

The analysis presented in this book comes at a crucial point in the history of European human rights law, offering a holistic and detailed enquiry into the EU's accession to the ECHR and how this move can be reconciled with the autonomy of EU law.

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Human Rights and Civil Liberties, EU Law
PART I: INTRODUCTION-A TALE OF TWO COURTS 1. Setting the Scene for Accession I. The EU and the European Convention on Human Rights II. Accession and Autonomy: The Research Question of this Book III. A Caveat on Legal Definitions 2. Scope of this Book I. A Survey of the Status Quo II. The Shape of Things to Come III. Conclusions and Outlook PART II: THE AUTONOMY OF EUROPEAN UNION LAW VERSUS INTERNATIONAL LAW AND COURTS 3. The Notion of Legal Autonomy I. The Legal Framework: The CJEU's Exclusive Jurisdiction II. Accession and Autonomy: Justifi ed Concerns or Much Ado about Nothing? III. The Union's Legal Autonomy and International Law 4. The EU and International Courts and Tribunals I. European Union Law at Risk: The CJEU and the EEA Court II. Competing Jurisdictions: The MOX Plant Case III. Legal Analysis 5. A Special Case: The Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights I. The Convention and the EU: A View from Luxembourg II. Violations of the Convention by EU Law: The Strasbourg Perspective III. Opinion 2/94: Obsolete Concerns or Autonomy at Risk? 6. The EU, International Law and International Courts: An Anticipating Assessment for Accession I. Lessons of the Past II. Questions for the Future PART III: THE ROAD FROM LUXEMBOURG TO STRASBOURG: RECONCILING ACCESSION AND AUTONOMY 7. The Status of the Accession Agreement and the Convention after Accession I. The Legal Basis: Article 218 TFEU and the Court of Justice II. The Need for an Accession Agreement III. The Status of the Convention and the Agreement in EU Law IV. Interim Conclusions 8. External Review by Strasbourg: A Hierarchy of Courts? I. External Review vs Autonomy: The Legal Issue Situated II. A Binding Interpretation of Union Law by Strasbourg? III. European Union Law in Violation of the Convention IV. Interim Conclusions 9. Individual Applications after Accession: Introducing the Co-Respondent Mechanism I. Individual Applications: Core of the Convention II. Identifying the Right Respondent after Accession III. Interim Conclusions 10. Inter-Party Cases after Accession I. Inter-State Cases: A Reminiscence of Westphalia II. The Internal Dimension: Luxembourg versus Strasbourg III. The External Dimension: The European Union as a Human Rights Litigator in Europe? IV. Interim Conclusions 11. The Exhaustion of Domestic Remedies and the Prior Involvement of the Luxembourg Court I. The 'Exhaustion Rule' after Accession II. Direct and Indirect Actions III. The Solution of the Draft Accession Agreement IV. Interim Conclusions PART IV: CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK 12. The Analytical Point of Departure: Revisiting and Answering the Research Question 13. The Prerequisites and Consequences of Accession: A Summary of Findings I. The Importance of the Autonomy Principle II. Legal Interfaces between Accession and Autonomy 14. Outlook and Future Perspectives