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European Constitutional Law

European Constitutional Law (3rd edn)

Robert Schütze
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date: 12 June 2024

p. 45112. Limiting Powers

EU Fundamental Rightslocked

p. 45112. Limiting Powers

EU Fundamental Rightslocked

  • Robert Schütze


This chapter investigates each of the European Union’s three bills of rights and the constitutional principles that govern them. It starts with the discovery of an ‘unwritten’ bill of rights in the form of general principles of European law. The chapter then moves to an analysis of the Union’s ‘written’ bill of rights: the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which was adopted to codify already existing human rights in the Union legal order. It also considers the formal relationship between the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, the chapter explores the relationship between EU fundamental rights and the Member States. Despite being primarily addressed to the Union, EU fundamental rights can, in some situations, also bind the Member States (and even their nationals). National courts may thus sometimes be obliged to review the legality of national law in the light of EU fundamental rights.

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