EU Human Rights Law and History: A Tale of 3 Narratives
Forthcoming in History and International Law: An Intertwined Relationship Eds Annalisa Ciampi and Gilad Ben Nun (Edward Elgar 2019)
14 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2019
Date Written: September 15, 2018
It is possible to detect (at least) three distinct narratives at work in the arena of EU human rights law, each surveying the development of that law over the period of the EEC/EU’s existence.
First, we might look at the development of EU human rights law through a narrative of progress, of the evolution of the EU in an affirmative, moral direction, complementing its economic focus. Conversely, a second approach, the reverse of this progress narrative, critiques it, and instead identifies the EU as in fact instrumentalizing human rights as tools for economic integration. A third narrative, more subtle, complex and nuanced, attempts to situate EU human rights more effectively within their context and history, arguing greater insights can be found in this way.
This narrative approach to EU human rights law follows the turn to history in international law, and considers what is to be gained from interpreting the history of EU human rights law in terms of these three different narratives: what are the advantages, and what the defects, of each?
Keywords: international law, history, human rights, EU, ECJ, progress, caselaw
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