Chapter 1: European Union human rights law: the dynamics of interpretation and context
This book examines the human rights jurisprudence of the courts of the European Union (EU). Its aim is to reveal the character of EU human rights law as shaped by the dynamics of judicial interpretation and its context. Its main contention is that EU human rights law is defined by the interpretative practices of EU courts adopted with reference to its broader and narrower constitutional and governance environment in the EU. The prevalent interpretative practices are responsible for a complex body of human rights law which pursues a busy, multi-tiered constitutional, governance and political agenda. Governed predominantly by functional and instrumental impulses, the law of human rights in the EU follows interpretative considerations and observes limitations which emerge from its context and which are essential for both the lawful and the effective operation and development of the EU polity and its legal order. Human rights law in the EU is mainly the achievement of judicial interpretation. The constitutional principle that EU legislation and administrative action should be subjected to human rights requirements, the EU human rights principle, and the subsequent extension of this principle to the activities of the Member States, were the creation of the EU judiciary.