Fundamental rights: ‘The product of case law?’ before the treaty of Lisbon
MetadataShow full item record
This study aims to examine fundamental rights, with their source, scope and applications, in the process of becoming a part of the European Community legal order. It also investigates the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) contributions to this process. The ECJ, which had considered economic reasons and initially refused to recognise basic rights, has changed its position and has defined respect for fundamental rights as a requirement in the integration process. It has referred to the constitutional traditions of member states in determining the scope of fundamental rights. The ECJ has also applied "the lowest common denominator" method when conflict occurs among the constitutions of member states, and has expanded the scope of fundamental rights in light of cases encountered over time. The conflict between the European Court of Human Rights and the ECJ has prevented the European Union from reaching a consensus on fundamental rights. Thus, some criticism has been directed at the ECJ regarding its role in determining fundamental rights. This article presents such critical assessments in order to implement a more successful, consistent and transparent basic rights structure for the European Commission.