I just came back from my holidays and found my copy of V Kosta, N Skoutaris and V P Tzevelekos (eds), The EU Accession to the ECHR (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014). The book is the reworked compilation of some of the papers presented at a conference in Brussels in November 2012, plus other interesting contributions. I also contribute a chapter on corporate fair trial rights and competition law enforcement that was already available through SSRN. In the words of the editors:
Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides that the EU will accede to the system of human rights protection of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Protocol No 9 in the Treaty of Lisbon opens the way for accession. This represents a major change in the relationship between two organisations that have co-operated closely in the past, though the ECHR has hitherto exercised only an indirect constitutional control over the EU legal order through scrutiny of EU Member States. The accession of the EU to the ECHR is expected to put an end to the informal dialogue, and allegedly also competition between the two regimes in Europe and to establish formal (both normative and institutional) hierarchies.
Looking at the contents of the book, I am truly impressed. And it seems that I am not the only one:
In this new era, some old problems will be solved and new ones will appear. Questions of autonomy and independence, of attribution and allocation of responsibility, of co-operation, and legal pluralism will all arise, with consequences for the protection of human rights in Europe.
This book seeks to understand how relations between the two organisations are likely to evolve after accession, and whether this new model will bring more coherence in European human rights protection. The book analyses from several different, yet interconnected, points of view and relevant practice the draft Accession Agreement, shedding light on future developments in the ECHR and beyond. Contributions in the book span classic public international law, EU law and the law of the ECHR, and are written by a mix of legal and non-legal experts from academia and practice.
"This book will be essential reading for all those interested in the future judicial and legal organisation of Europe. The editors, the contributors and the publishers are all to be warmly congratulated on a splendid achievement in legal scholarship" From the foreword by Francis G Jacobs.
This is definitely something to be proud of. I hope other research projects will be similarly succesful.