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Fundamental Rights, General Principles of EU Law, and the Charter




Speaker: Professor Takis Tridimas - King's Collee London

Series: Institute for the Study of European Law (ISEL) research seminar series

The purpose of this paper is to explore selected aspects of the relationship between the general principles of EU law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The chapter first looks at the expansion of fundamental rights in EU law and the importance of general principles by reference to three principles which have provided fruitful grounds for judicial activism: the right to judicial protection, the principle of non-discrimination, and the right to personal data. It then examines the sources of fundamental rights under Article 6 TEU and the relationship between Charter rights and general principles.

Finally, it explores a pivotal issue in EU constitutional discourse, namely, the scope of application of the Charter and the general principles of law. The chapter concludes by observing that, far from declining in importance, the general principles of law continue to be an integral part of judicial methodology; that, following the introduction of the Charter, the CJEU applies a heightened level of judicial scrutiny; and that it favours a centralised approach opting for an autonomous interpretation of the Charter, granting it precedence over national constitutional norms, and understanding broadly its scope of application.

About the Speaker

Takis Tridimas is a leading scholar in the field of European Union law. He is one of the most frequently quoted authors by Advocates General of the European Court of Justice and, on matters of EU law, by English courts. He joined King's College in September 2013.

Before then, he was the Sir John Lubbock Professor of Banking Law at Queen Mary College, University of London (2004-2013). He also served as référendaire (law clerk) to Advocate General Sir Francis Jacobs at the European Court of Justice (1992-1995).

He was senior legal adviser to the EU Presidency (2003) and Chairman of the Committee set up by the EU Council of Ministers to draft the Treaty of Accession of 2003. He has acted as advisor or counsel to many public and private organizations, including the European Central Bank, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Court of Auditors.

Professor Tridimas is also the Nancy A. Patterson Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor at Pennsylvania State University. He is, or has been, visiting professor in many universities, including the College of Europe, Bruges, Sciences Po, Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II), and the University of Genova. He is also a barrister at Matrix Chambers.

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When and where

1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 19th November 2014

AG02 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

Contact Details

Institute for the Study of European Laws

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom
+44(0)20 7030 4103

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