The Role of Judicial and Non-Judicial Actors
Edited by Lorenza Violini and Antonia Baraggia
Chapter 2: Fundamental rights and federalism in the European Union and the United States: Challenges, transformations and normative questions
The federal system of the United States (US) has long served as a comparative model to the study of the European multilevel system for the protection of fundamental rights. Fundamental rights in Europe are simultaneously protected in the constitutions of the states, in the law of the European Union (EU), as well as in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Moreover, each of these overlapping layers of human rights norms is policed by institutions – particularly courts – which are interconnected but independent. This state of affairs presents analogies with the situation in the US. In the American system, rights are codified in state constitutions as well as in the federal Bill of Rights. Moreover, two connected but separate orders of jurisdictions – state and federal courts – are empowered to enforce the rights enshrined in their respective basic documents. Both the European multilevel human rights architecture and the US federal system, therefore, are structurally characterized by the existence of a plurality of sources and institutions for the protection of fundamental rights, as well as by a plurality of conceptions of what rights ought to be. Despite these similarities, however, the European and American human rights systems are the result of different constitutional experiences and have evolved over a diverse historical time-span. So, what is the added value of comparing the European multilevel human rights architecture with the US federal rights’ regime? Why is it helpful to compare and contrast these two cases? The benefits of a comparative approach in the field
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.