The European Union and Human Rights after the Treaty of Lisbon

11 Human Rights Law Review (2011) 645

38 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014

See all articles by Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Queen Mary University of London

Date Written: September 2011

Abstract

This article considers the state of human rights protection in the European Union (EU) after the Treaty of Lisbon. The Lisbon Treaty introduced significant changes to human rights protection in the EU, the most significant of which lie in the amendments to Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union. These provide that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is now legally binding, having the same status as primary EU law, and that the EU ‘shall accede’ to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In the two years since the Lisbon Treaty came into force, the Charter has been referred to on many occasions by the European Court of Justice, and now operates as the primary source of human rights in the EU. This article examines the import of this case law, some of it ground-breaking and controversial, as well how the higher profile for human rights under the Charter is likely to change the nature of the EU’s relationship with the ECHR.

The article also examines the complex procedure for the EU’s accession to the ECHR, which is now underway, highlighting particularly significant aspects of this. The article concludes with some general reflections about the status of human rights protection in the EU, suggesting that this has become one of the most significant areas of EU law which has had, and continues to have, a crucial impact on the EU’s relationships with its Member States, the EU and international law.

Keywords: human rights, European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, accession to European Convention on Human Rights, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Suggested Citation

Douglas-Scott, Sionaidh, The European Union and Human Rights after the Treaty of Lisbon (September 2011). 11 Human Rights Law Review (2011) 645. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458384

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

School of Economics and Finance
Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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