Introduction. The ECHR in the ECJ’s Case Law Post-Charter: A Dual Perspective

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Abstract: The relationship between EU law and the ECHR has undergone significant changes in recent decades. The EU has developed its own Charter of Fundamental Rights, gained powers to promote specific fundamental rights, and negotiations for EU accession to the ECHR are ongoing. These evolving parameters strengthen the interactions between the EU and the ECHR. To ensure the coherence and harmony of the European architecture of fundamental rights, the ECJ and the ECtHR are required to articulate their legal systems. In the post-Charter era, the ECtHR has displayed increasing openness to EU law. Conversely, the ECJ has shown a trend towards “Charter centrism”. This special Dialogue section examines the ECJ's use of ECHR and ECtHR case law in the post-Charter era and the factors contributing to the “Charter centrism” trend. Scholars Romain Tinière and Johan Callewaert present distinct yet complementary perspectives on the topic. Tinière delves into the internal dynamics of the ECJ’s use of the ECHR, while Callewaert provides an external viewpoint from the standpoint of national judges. Even if the EU successfully accedes to the ECHR, the interaction between the ECJ and the ECtHR will remain crucial for upholding fundamental rights in Europe. While recognizing the ECJ's need to develop its own approach to fundamental rights in specific contexts, maintaining consistency and methodological rigor in articulating the two sources of fundamental rights protection is essential for enhancing legal certainty.

Keywords: European Court of Justice – European Convention on Human Rights – cross-influences – Charter centrism – methodology – accession.

European Papers, Vol. 8, 2023, No 1, pp. 317-322
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/653

* Doctoral researcher, Institute for European Law of KU Leuven,
** Head of the Department for International and European Law of KU Leuven,


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