Human rights and the European Union
Protection of minorities
Multi-level judicial dialogue
Head of Research Group:
Maria Luísa Duarte
The International and European Law Research Group (RG:IEL)’s approach fits within CIDP’s research strategy in its quest for transnational cutting edge themes that can bring fresh scientific outputs to academia and to society itself.
International Public Law scholars are devoting increasing attention to the issues related to globalisation and the sovereignty of states, discussing whether globalisation has thwarted the sovereignty of states, which has served as the central tenet of the international legal order since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. At the same time, the international legal order has changed its landscape, with the mushrooming of international organisations and courts, side by side with private actors such as multinational corporations and non-governmental organisations. In addition to all this, the status of the human person as a subject of International Law has faced a radical transformation, evolving from mostly being the object of the state’s duty of diplomatic protection to being herself a rights and duties holder.
Within Public International Law, RG:IEL has chosen to focus its research on an intergenerational justice Research Project. Its relevance is patent in the current institutional and financial deadlock, which seems to be causing an incontrollable disrespect for fundamental rights, but also a major rift between countries and generations in a space-time axis. The idea of attributing rights to unborn generations as well as protecting the interests of the younger ones is flourishing and has been the object of several soft law instruments, such as UNESCO’s Declaration on the responsibilities of the present generations towards future generations. RG:IEL will look into its legal content, as well as into the consequences of its entrenchment as a principle of International Law.
The European focus of RG:IEL, in turn, will be centred on the multilevel and pluralist system protection of fundamental rights in the European space (encompassing both the European Union and the greater Europe of the Council of Europe). Although Europe has been considered a leading example for regional human rights mechanisms, these guarantees are far from simple. The co-existence of four distinct yet intertwined layers of human rights protection stands out as a unique feature of this geographic space in the world: those that stem from (General) International Human Rights Law, from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), from the (now binding) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and from national Constitutions. At an historic moment when the EU is about to accede to the ECHR, RG:IEL will delve into the different paths and mechanisms of judicial dialogue among these courts, from the original German Constitutional Court’s “so long as an effective protection is ensured” to the more recent ECtHR’s “equivalent protection” in a dedicated Research Project. In addition, there will also be another Research Project on the protection of minorities in the European legal space.
Lines of Research
RG: IEL shall participate in the management of CIDP’s three transversal Lines of Research.