Volume 18 (2012) / Issue 1
The right to be heard is the cornerstone of procedural guarantees for citizens in the administrative procedure. After forty years of case-by-case development by the EU courts, the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, and with it, Article 41(2)(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (hereinafter 'the Charter'), has introduced into the EU legal system a single binding abstract statement of the right to be heard to be the benchmark for the interpretation and application of the right. This article argues that Article 41(2)(1), more than adding to coherency, runs the risk of adding to the confusion. It is shown that the translation of the Article to the various official languages created in effect two statements of the law with significant differences in the scope of application of the right. This article identifies the formulation that was originally envisaged by the drafters of the Charter but shows that in the years that have passed between its drafting and its entry into force the EU courts have developed further the right to be heard and the law as it stands today cannot be easily settled with the language of Article 41(2)(1).This article concludes by offering an interpretive solution to the problem.
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