Only a few days before Europe’s holidays, on 18 December, the Court of Justice delivered its much awaited Opinion 2/13 on the draft agreement on EU accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (ECHR). Somewhat surprisingly – even dramatically – and against the advice of its Advocate General, the Court concludes that the agreement resulting from years of negotiations is not in compliance with EU primary law. Several problems are addressed In the Opinion. One is that the ECHR would require each Member States to check each other in a way which would upset the underlying balance of the EU and the obligation of mutual trust. Another is that the new mechanism which permits national supreme courts to request opinions from the Court of the ECHR could affect the autonomy and effectiveness of the procedure for preliminary rulings from the EU court.
The complete text of the Opinion is available here.