Volume 49 (2012) / Issue 5
Sara Iglesias Sánchez, 'The Court and the Charter: The impact of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on the ECJs approach to fundamental rights' (2012) 49 Common Market Law Review, Issue 5, pp. 1565–1611
In the two and a half years since the Lisbon Treaty came into force, the Court of Justice has issued a considerable number of decisions applying and interpreting the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This article analyses this first wave of case law with the aim of identifying the impact of the Charter in the fundamental rights jurisprudence of the Luxembourg Court. For this purpose, the examination of the cases is organized around three dichotomies: continuity/change, expansion/restraint, and heteronomy/autonomy. The issue of the temporal scope of the application of the Charter is analysed and the most visible innovations are addressed focusing on quantitative and qualitative changes. Second, the implications of Article 51 on the application of the Charter to the States are examined in light of the latest case law, taking into account the important developments of the status of the citizenship of the Union as an expansive device for the protection of individual rights. Finally, the interplay of the Charter with the European Convention of Fundamental Rights and with the constitutional traditions of the Member States is addressed. It is argued that even though there is a marked trend towards the continuity of the fundamental pillars that have so long been at the basis of the EU fundamental rights system, there are substantial innovations and significant developments that reinforce the role of fundamental rights in the legal order of the Union.
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