Faculté de droit

The European Union and Human Rights : Towards a Post-National Human Rights Institution?

Besson, Samantha

In: Human Rights Law Review, 2006, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 323-360

There is growing evidence that the European Union (EU) is becoming more involved in human rights protection and has the capacity to turn into an unprecedented post-national human rights protection institution. Based on that evidence, this article suggests different arguments in favour of a further development in this direction. These arguments stem not only from a general global justice approach... Plus

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    Summary
    There is growing evidence that the European Union (EU) is becoming more involved in human rights protection and has the capacity to turn into an unprecedented post-national human rights protection institution. Based on that evidence, this article suggests different arguments in favour of a further development in this direction. These arguments stem not only from a general global justice approach to post-national institutions’ responsibilities, but also from the concept of human rights itself and the specific needs of human rights protection at the post-national level. The EU’s institutional framework presents advantages that fit the general criteria of institutional design in the human rights context. Of course, many doubts and critiques may be raised against an entity which started primarily as a functional and economic institution, and important reforms, some of which are ventured in the present article, are still needed to get the EU closer to this institutional ideal. More generally, the article emphasises the unique example and precedent the EU may constitute for normative institutional thinking about global justice at the post-national level.