POSTS BY Martin Scheinin

The Essence of Privacy, and Varying Degrees of Intrusion

What is remarkable in the CJEU’s Schrems decision is that a) the Court actually identified the intrusion in question as falling under the notion of the essence of privacy – something the European Court of Human Rights has never done under the privacy provision of ECHR Article 8, and b) the identification of an intrusion as compromising the essence of privacy meant that there was no need for a proportionality assessment under Article 52 (1.2) of the Charter. For these reasons, the Max Schrems judgment is a pathbreaking development, a major contribution to the understanding of the structure and legal effect of fundamental rights under the Charter.

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CJEU Opinion 2/13 – Three Mitigating Circumstances

The academic response to CJEU Opinion 2/13 on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights can be characterised as a combination of shock, disbelief and protest. Indeed, the Opinion looks like total overkill, as the grounds for rejecting the draft accession agreement are so many and so diverse that they unavoidably give the impression of being primarily based on a defensive and territorial attitude of protecting the exclusive and superior nature of the CJEU’s own jurisdiction. That said, the critical discussion on Opinion 2/13 should include a search for rational explanations as to why the CJEU’s opinion is negative, even if in the extreme. What follows is a short reflection on three factors towards that kind of an approach, without any intention to defend the Opinion itself.

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Zurück zur Post-9/11-Panik? Die Resolution des UN-Sicherheitsrats zu Terrorkämpfern

Der Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen hat am Mittwoch die Resolution zu ausländischen Terrorkämpfern angenommen. Es handelt sich dabei nicht nur um eine politische Erklärung auf höchster politischer Ebene, sondern um eine "legislative" Resolution mit "Zähnen", beschlossen unter Kapitel VII der Charta der Vereinten Nationen und nach Art. 103 der Charta mit Vorrang im Verhältnis zu anderen völkerrechtlichen Vereinbarungen ausgestattet. Die Resolution stellt einen gigantischen Rückschlag im UN-Terrorbekämpfungsregime dar, vergleichbar mit der Sicherheitsratsresolution 1373, die unmittelbar nach den fürchterlichen Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 beschlossen wurde. Sie macht den über 13 lange Jahre Stück für Stück erzielten Fortschritt bei der Einführung von Menschenrechtsschutz und Rechtsstaatlichkeit in die hoch problematische Art, mit der der Sicherheitsrat seine supranationale Hoheitsgewalt ausübt, zunichte.

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Back to post-9/11 panic? Security Council resolution on foreign terrorist fighters

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution on foreign terrorist fighters. It is not a mere political declaration adopted at highest political level but a “legislative” resolution with “teeth,” adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and therefore legally binding for all UN Member States and obtaining, by virtue of Article 103 of the Charter, primacy in relation to any other international agreement of states. The resolution constitutes a huge backlash in the UN counter-terrorism regime, comparable to Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1373, adopted in the immediate aftermath of the atrocious terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It wipes out the piecemeal progress made over 13 long years in introducing protections of human rights and the rule of law into the highly problematic manner in which the Security Council exercises its supranational powers.

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