Bernhard Schima


Early in 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) handed down two judgments on the same day which might contain the blueprint for the fundamental rights architecture of the European Union (“EU”) for years to come. Much has already been written about those judgments, and it appears appropriate at this time to evaluate their impact in light of their reception and subsequent developments of the case law. To that effect, this contribution will provide some elements of background before briefly presenting the two cases, commenting on their legal solidity, and recalling how they have been received. It will then turn to a critical analysis of the arguments that are most commonly made in favor and against a broad scope of EU fundamental rights. As will be shown, the ECJ has taken a number of these arguments into account in its case law. A final part will evaluate the tools that are available to police the boundaries between EU and national fundamental rights.

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