Document Type

Book Chapter


Published as a chapter in: L'Union européenne: union de droit, union des droits : mélanges en l'honneur de Philippe Manin, Paris: Pedone, 2010.


This essay explores the avenues through which a European-level system of fundamental rights might be effectively enforced against EU Member State measures. The parallel concept in the U.S. occurred when, starting in 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court began ruling that different distinct guarantees in the Federal Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution controlled State government measures. In the EU, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) could conceivably follow a similar line of development within the EU system, or, on the other hand, the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) could play that role. This essay explores these options and suggests that either one or the other is likely to emerge at some point in the future in a role equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court as the guardian of fundamental rights for all EU citizens, articulated and enforced (even against Member State measures) at the European level.

Date of Authorship for this Version



European Court of Justice, Fundamental rights, Judicial review