The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Right to be Granted Asylum in the Union's Law
Posted: 21 Nov 2008
The 2000 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union recognizes the right to asylum in article 18. Once the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon enters into force, the Charter will become legally binding and its provisions will have treaty rank within the Union's legal order. Compliance with the Charter will then be a requirement for the validity and legality of the Union's secondary legislation, including Directives and Regulations in the field of asylum. This article traces the roots of article 18 back to article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and argues that the right to be granted asylum has become a subjective and enforceable right of individuals under the Union's legal order. The article examines the legal nature, interpretation, scope of application, and enforceability of article 18 of the Charter on the right to asylum in the Union's legal order. It concludes that the beneficiaries of this provision are all individuals who fall under the scope of application of the Union's law, whose international protection grounds are established by international human rights law, including the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Charter, as a regional supranational instrument, reinforces the protection of asylum in international law by bringing Europe into line with other regional developments that recognize not only the right to seek, but also the right to be granted, asylum. On the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more than two-thirds of the States Parties to the Refugee Convention are also bound by a rule of international or supranational law to grant asylum.
Keywords: Human Rights, European Union, Charter, Fundamental Rights, Asylum
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