Andrea Biondi. EU lecture



crucial to EU law – we did it


EEC was about trade in the beginning.

treaty of Rome provided for free movement of workers

economic freedom.

EEC was not an HR organisation. gradually HR Grew in importance

it is also key to EU


HR protected by E Convention HR, national constitutions,

characteristics of the convention system. specific court – E Court of HR. get there by using all domestic remedies

ECJ  – value is the national courts must interpret law in keeping with its rulings

Strasbourg says you cannot prevent all prisoners from voting

in 1970s. ECJ said HR was not mentioned in the treaty but when we interpret European law we will try to ensure that EU law complies with E Convention HR

draw inspiration from common constitutional traditions of member states

second source – the convention

the point was that fundamental rights were used to interpret EU law

ECJ willing to expand its jurisdiction

EU law must comply with HR

Greek law said every programme had to be in Greek.

that hinders market access

provision of services was obstructed.

Greek government argued they needed to protect their language. public policy. national identity.


Greece can use a less onerous measure towards accomplishing the same objective.

breach of proportionality – internal market

HR was an issue. took away free expression and enjoyment.

if measure falls within the scope of the treaty then states must respect HR protection

there were other avenues that could have been taken that Greece had violated HR

defensive use of HR is sometimes the case. this is an offensive use of HR.

why apply protection of HR to domestic law? You have national courts and E Court Hr not for ECJ

for many years in reality the court never applied ELT. in reality in Greek case there was a sentence where they tried to respect HR

The court did not say Greece was breaching HR

ECJ did not adjudicate on HR issue

court mentions HR protection it does so softly sometimes


free tickets to spouses of workers

a woman was in a relationship with another woman

company does not give woman tickets for her girlfriend

Miss Grant says this is contrary to EU law.

equal pay for equal work between men and women

she argued said that equality applied to same sex relationships

Did ECJ agree?

interpreting non discrimination is interpreted on the basis of E Convention HR including sexual orientation.

marriage equality was not in national constitutions

in EU law there was no law about same sex marriages at the time

it could not stretch the law that much

the E Court of HR. ECJ said this was a political issue. question inadmissible.

before Charter of F R E U – the ECJ could not impose gay rights

during treaty of Nice negotiations. This charter was adopted

for 9 years before Lisbon the  C F R E U was adopted but NOT legally adopted

ECJ referred to C F R E U as obiter dicta

Lisbon – article 6. says C F R E U has the same legal value as the treaty

charter has 50 articles

classic HR are there

right to life – habeas corpus – no torture – no death penalty – free speech

no discrimination on basis of race or sexual orientation

social rights – right to strike, collective bargaining, right of the elderly

principles. vague. clean environment

transparency – right to see documents

article 51. para 1. EU institutions must respect the charter and so do EU states


selling second hand cars. he was an employee of EU Parliament.. This was illegal. He was sacked on the spot. But there was no legal process.

the court did not dispute that he could be sacked but said he had to have an opportunity to defend himself

access to info – used by journalists


are all articles of charter relevant?

if you want to join the EU you must subscribe to many laws and the charter

protection of linguistic minorities

should Commission do something about the feebleness of the Polish constitutional court

charter applies when member states implement EU law

no massive impact on national law – only when implementing EU law

people get into litigation. has ECJ changed its attitude towards HR in the EU

look at a few examples.

sex equality. law and insurance . Test Achats – Belgian case.

banned by EU. any rule for charter. different premiums. the court could interpret those directives and say there was no discrimination.

first sign where the court says there were directive an C F R EU c- article 21 no discrimination.


Spaniard. His problem – bankruptcy

right to be forgotten. article saying he was bankrupt 20 years ago.’

Data Protection Directive. Spanish court asked for a preliminary ruling on this.

the preamble says it likes HR

Charter is now binding.

the national court must uphold these rights.

the directive is wrong because it does not protect privacy. the court says the directive is not compatible with Charter so you insert right to privacy into the directive.

directive is only compatible insofar as it protects fundamental rights.

if EU law is against the charter then it is invalid

ECJ is entitled to decide if a directive is consonant with the C F R E U

the right to allow people to have their references deleted

member states can adopt these. there can be limitations

there can be a judicial procedure to allow people to have their names removed

the court can redraft the directive. right to be forgotten. it is not in the directive

can a directive be interpreted if it has been altered by the ECJ. the court has always re drafted laws.

data protection must be in conformity with article 6 of C F R E U. EU agreements with US must be HR compliant

commission decision to agree with USA. Can ECJ strike it down?

commission has the power to sign agreements with other countries. It can only sign such agreements that are HR compatible. The bit that breaches right to privacy is severed.

Irish Authority must gives its citizen privacy

commission decision is annulled on grounds that it violates an article of the charter.

regulations must comply with C F R E U and so does national law

article 51 of c f r e u is binding on member states implementing EU law

Fransson 2013 – Swedish businessman did not pay tax. Penalties. He did not pay social contributions for employees and direct taxes. VAT evasion

found guilty. He challenged it. sentenced to

punishment too harsh. Two sentences.

VAT is an EU tax. every time member state acts within the scope of the treaty

what is outside scope of EU law? family law sometimes

Brussels Convention on child custody is an EU law

money laundering is an EU issue

if a national procedure collides with EU law then EU law prevail


German wine. advertised as easy to digest.

competitor says this is false. it is not scientific or true

one of the points raised that somehow the fact that the company was probably prevented to use ”easy to digest” could have had an impact on free movement of goods

linked to free movement of goods

do we need to discuss charter? free speech. right to property. All in C F R E U

I am entitled to rely on charter. rights have been violated

there is an argument based on charter. health is a  right. so people advertising the wine claimed C F R E U is on their side.




About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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