Documents to download

The European Charter of Fundamental Rights is a catalogue of human rights guarantees based on the European Convention on Human Rights and various UN and ILO human rights treaties. It was ‘proclaimed’ at Nice in 2000 and was granted legal status by the Treaty of Lisbon which came into force in December 2009.

During the discussions on the relationship between the Charter and the Lisbon Treaty the UK Government secured a clarifying Protocol on the application of the Charter to the UK (Poland later joined), which states that neither the national courts of these countries nor the Court of Justice may declare UK law incompatible with the Charter. The exact meaning of this has continued to be of concern in the UK.

In October 2010 the European Commission published a communication called “Strategy for the effective implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights by the European Union”. The Government says the strategy is compatible with the Coalition Agreement. The European Scrutiny Committee reported on the document in January 2011, recommending that it be debated in European Committee – and that the application of the UK/Poland Protocol be included in the debate.

The strategy and the UK Protocol were debated in March 2011 on a motion which stated “that the Charter does not give national or European courts any additional grounds on which to find that the laws of the United Kingdom are incompatible with the law of the European Union”.

Documents to download

Related posts