Fundamental Human Rights in the European Union and the procedure of the European Court of Human Rights

Course description

This course relies on the material discussed at “The Operational Mechanisms of the European Union and its Importance for Human Rights Protection” course and elaborates further on the current human rights protection mechanisms of the European Union. The core of the course lies in substantive analysis of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. A horizontal approach will be emphasized, especially the mandatory nature of the Charter, the relation between the European Charter of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as the proportionality tests regarding fundamental rights. A separate lecture will be dedicated to the examination of the relation between the fundamental rights’ protection of the European Union and the national constitutional courts of the Member States. Articles 2 and 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union will be discussed with scrutiny as well.

The course will provide detailed information on the procedure of the European Human Rights Court with a hands-on approach. This practice-oriented seminar looks into the most effective methods of advocacy; it closely examines the conditions of admissibility, including the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies. This course also examines the nature and importance of the pilot judgement procedure. A detailed explanation and analysis will be given to the enforcement methods of the Court’s judgements.


The course will provide a solid foundation to understand the doctrines related to the fundamental rights’ protection of the European Union.  Students will be able to confidently distinguish the nature and relations of the different protection mechanisms in the European Union. This course will serve as indispensable backbone to understand each and every aspects of the specialized curriculum.

This course’s principle aim is to transfer hands-on knowledge covering all elements of the proceedings before the European Human Rights Court. It not only provides opportunities for students to practice their actual theoretical knowledge by drafting applications or filling official forms used for the procedures, but also makes participants familiar with the style of communication of the Court. Successful students will be empowered with all the necessary knowledge and skills to represent a case at the European Human Rights Court.


  • Steve Peers, Tamara Hervey, Jeff Kenner and Angela Ward (eds.) The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, A Commentary, (Hart Publishing, 2014)
  • -Philip Leach, Taking a Case to the European Court of Human Rights, Third Edition (OUP, 2011) ISBN 978-0-19-958502-1
  • Takis Tridimas, The General Principles of EU Law (OUP, 2006)


  • Wolfgang Weiß, Human Rights in the EU: Rethinking the Role of the European Convention on Human Rights after Lisbon, (2011) European Constitutional Law Review, Issue 01, pp 64 – 95
  • Christoph Grabenwarter (ed). The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, A Commentary (Hart Publishing, 2013) ISBN 9781782251354
  • Armin Von Bogdandy, Matthias Kottmann, Carlino Antpöhler, Johanna Dickschen, Simon Hentrei, Maja Smrkolj, 'Reverse Solange–Protecting the essence of fundamental rights against EU Member States' (2012) 49 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 489–519


Petra Jeney

Pál Sonnevend