Boston or Berlin? EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: Some Irish Perspectives
T. John O'Dowd
UCD School of Law
February 28, 2002
European Review of Public Law, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 427-581, 2002
Irish responses to the basic idea of a European Union Charter of Fundamental Charter of Human Rights are discussed. There is a range of attitudes as to the proper constitutional structures for future European integration. The rejection of the Treaty of Nice at a referendum in June 2001 showed some popular scepticism about the desirability of constitutional arrangements for the Union of the sort with which the Charter is usually associated. The current Irish Government which, while supporting ratification of the Treaty, is strongly opposed to giving the Charter any legal force. The predominant view among Irish judges also seems to be one of some reserve; their main anxiety relates to the “socio-economic” rights in the “Solidarity” Chapter. Whatever their status, formal recognition of such rights runs counter to the prevailing trend of constitutional interpretation. The Charter has also become associated with the “incorporation” of the European Convention of Human Rights; a Government Bill on this topic is still pending; it is analysed in detail. The rest of the article consists of a detailed comparison of the Charter and Irish constitutional guarantees of fundamental rights.
Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 19, 2010 ; Last revised: May 13, 2010
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