The Relationship between the Charter and General Principles: Looking Back and Looking Forward

(2020) 22 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 233-257 https://doi.org/10.1017/cel.2020.6

22 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2021

See all articles by Emily Hancox

Emily Hancox

University of Bristol - School of Law

Date Written: November 11, 2020

Abstract

Article 6 TEU sets out two sources of fundamental rights in the EU—the Charter and the general principles of EU law—without specifying a hierarchy between them. Even though the Charter became binding over a decade ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) is yet to clarify unequivocally how these two sources interact. In this article I argue based upon the relevant legal framework that the Charter ought to replace the general principles it enshrines. This leaves a role for general principles in the incorporation of new and additional rights into the EU legal framework. Such an approach is necessary to ensure that the Charter achieves its aims in enhancing the visibility of the rights protected by EU law, while also providing the impetus for more coherent rights protection within the EU. What an extensive survey of CJEU case law in the field of non-discrimination shows, however, is that the CJEU has struggled to let its general principles case law go, potentially hampering the transformative potential of the Charter.

Keywords: EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, general principles, non-discrimination, Article 6 TEU

JEL Classification: The Relationship Between the Charter and General Principles: Looking Back and Looking Forwardc

Suggested Citation

Hancox, Emily, The Relationship between the Charter and General Principles: Looking Back and Looking Forward (November 11, 2020). (2020) 22 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 233-257 https://doi.org/10.1017/cel.2020.6 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3798523

Emily Hancox (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - School of Law ( email )

Wills Memorial Building
Queen's Road Clifton
Bristol BS8 1RJ, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

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