Rewriting Human Rights Decisions
Edited by Eva Brems and Ellen Desmet
Chapter 13: Another look at Glatzel (ECJ): of principles and discriminations
The judgment delivered by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Glatzel tackled issues of central importance to human rights law. Chief among them are the scope and content of the famous category of ‘principles’ contained in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which the Court elucidated for the first time in this case. But this judgment also deals with the ability of an international human rights law instrument to serve as a ground for review of EU legislation. Finally, Glatzel is one of the first rulings of the Court addressing the issue of discrimination of persons with disabilities. However, the quality of the Court’s reasoning does not match the salience of the issues raised by this case. The Court’s reasoning on the principle of integration of persons with disabilities is weak. Its refusal to use the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a ground for review is outrageous. As for its finding that the impugned legislation does not breach the principle of equality and non-discrimination, it is unconvincing. We have modestly aimed to bring some improvements to that judgment by providing a ‘rewritten version’ of it, which we hope is more in line with the development of a genuine ‘global human rights law’.
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