In Rights We Trust

Cases concerning the execution of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) provide seemingly endless material for new questions of fundamental importance to the relationship of the multiple constitutional layers in Europe. In a barely noted judgment in the case of Romeo Castaño v. Belgium, the European Court of Human Rights has now added an important piece to this puzzle. The judgment indicates that, in the light of other recent jurisprudence of both the Court of Justice of the EU and the ECtHR, both Courts are on their way to find a workable framework to address some of the issues in this field.

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Empty Seats in the European Parliament: What About EU Citizenship?

The European Parliament started its new term with three empty seats. The Catalan politicians Carles Puigdemont, Antoni Comín and Oriol Junqueras got elected in the European Parliamentary elections of 26 May 2019 but the Spanish Central Electoral Commission did not include their names in the list which was notified to the European Parliament on 17 June 2019. The reason is that that they did not appear in person to swear or affirm allegiance to the Spanish Constitution, which is a formal requirement under the Spanish election legislation. The President of the EU General Court dismissed an application of Carles Puigdemont and Antoni Comín for interim measures by referring to the Spanish electoral law. Thereby, however, he completely ignored the EU citizenship dimension of the case.

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Not to be Pushed Aside: the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice

A few days ago, with the decision no 20/2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has set a new cornerstone in its relationship with EU law and, in particular, with the judicial treatment of issues covered by both national fundamental rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In so doing, the Consulta shows the intention to act as a pivotal institution in the field of judicial protection of fundamental rights.

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The Great Repeal Bill and the Charter of Fundamental Rights – not a promising start

On the day Brexit happens EU Law will be incorporated into the UK legal system, including the entirety of the Court of Justice’s case-law. This is a huge digestion of rules and judicial rulings, unprecedented in the way and speed in which it will take place. However, there is a piece of EU Law that will not be incorporated into UK Law. This is no ordinary or irrelevant piece. It is the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is another revealing sign of the impact that Brexit will have in the UK and, above all, for UK citizens and their rights.

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The CJEU’s headscarf decisions: Melloni behind the veil?

On 14 March 2017, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (CJEU) handed down two landmark judgments on the Islamic headscarf at work. The twin decisions, Achbita and Bougnaoui, were eagerly awaited, not only because of the importance and delicacy of the legal issues the cases raised, but also because the Advocates General had reached different conclusions on those issues in their Opinions.

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The CJEU on Humanitarian Visa: Discovering ‘Un-Chartered’ Waters of EU Law

Limiting the scope of EU law vis-à-vis national legislative measures is one thing but creating un-Chartered territory in EU law is another. It is understandable why the Court would want to stay away from the currently toxic migration politics. But it is worrying that it is willing to further limit the scope of the Charter when it might be needed the most.

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The EU General Data Protection Regulation: Powerful Tool for Data Subjects?

Two months ago, the European Parliament and the Council have enacted the European General Data Protection Regulation as the result of a 4 years running legislative procedure. For a long time, it was uncertain whether the regulation could be passed at all: Not only has there been considerable opposition by EU Member States, but there have also been about 4.000 amendments by Parliament, accompanied by an enormous engagement of lobby groups.

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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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