Journal für Rechtspolitik

ISSN 0943-4011 (Print)
ISSN 1613-754X (Online)
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Abstract: Die realpolitische Bedeutung direktdemokratischer Einrichtungen wie Volksbegehren, Volksabstimmungen und Volksbefragungen nimmt zu, sodass diese zuletzt vermehrt Gegenstand wahlgerichtlicher Verfahren vor dem Verfassungsgerichtshof waren. Zudem haben die verfassungsgesetzlichen und einfachgesetzlichen Grundlagen für die Wahlgerichtsbarkeit des Verfassungsgerichtshofes durch die Verwaltungsgerichtsbarkeits-Novelle 2012 nennenswerte Änderungen erfahren. Die zentrale Frage der Legitimation zur Anfechtung von Ergebnissen direktdemokratischer Einrichtungen auf Gemeinde- oder Landesebene bleibt positivrechtlich ungeregelt.

Abstract: Mit dem Inkrafttreten des Vertrages von Lissabon am 1. Dezember 2009 gilt die Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union („Charta“) gemäß Art 6 des Vertrages über die Europäische Union als mit den Grundverträgen gleichrangiges Primärrecht. Seitdem hat sich der Europäische Gerichtshof in einer beachtlichen Zahl von Fällen mit der Auslegung und Anwendung der Charta befasst. Die Häufigkeit, in der Gerichte oder Verfahrensbeteiligte auf die Rechte der Charta rekurrieren, nimmt auch fünf Jahre nach dem Vertrag von Lissabon weiter zu. Für den Zeitraum ab 2009 bis heute existieren ca 180 Urteile und 60 begründete Beschlüsse, insgesamt also über 250 Entscheidungen, in denen die Charta eine Rolle spielte.

Abstract: Der Beitrag befasst sich mit der Reichweite der Bindung der Mitgliedstaaten an die europäischen Grundrechte im Lichte von Art 51 Abs 1 GRC. Er analysiert im Kontext der Rechtsprechung von EuGH und BVerfG insoweit drei Problemkreise und macht für diese Lösungsvorschläge.

Abstract: If we consider international human rights as a matter of legitimacy, it should not be overlooked that European human rights standards have been spilled over beyond Europe. Such phenomena include not only extraterritorial applications and formal applications with extraterritorial effects (especially in the cases of non-refoulement), but also reference through the membership of the Europe-based organizations, or as a part of so-called world judicial dialogue. Considerable influence of European human rights over the world clearly indicates that their legitimacy or virtue does not depend on national democratic process within Europe. Anyway the actual situation highlights the particular importance of dialogue all over the world, including that between Europe and Asia.

Abstract: This article explores the significance of a transjudicial dialogue on human rights by examining a recent benchmark decision by the Supreme Court of Japan, which held that a provision of the Civil Code allowing for unequal allocation of inheritance between a child born in wedlock and one born out of wedlock was unconstitutional. The Court for the first time consulted the legal reforms of foreign countries concerning the legal status of the child born out of wedlock, which were realized because of the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time the Court also referred to views and recommendations made by the Human Rights Committee and Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning said child’s legal status. The article describes the situation before the 2013 Decision and scrutinizes the reasoning behind this decision, and finally elaborates on two cases where transjudicial dialogue occurs. The Supreme Court’s reference to foreign law and international human rights treaties provides a new sphere where foreign law (comparative constitutional law) and international human rights treaties are hybridized. However, some problems remain before true transjudicial dialogue is possible.

Abstract: Originally construed to leave states room for manoeuvre in the security sector, the concept of margin of appreciation (MoA) has been developed in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to allow states leeway for action in all kinds of fields. It leads to a limitation of the Court’s supervisory powers where domestic authorities are better placed to take a decision and also justifies its self-restraint in areas where no international human rights standards exist (yet). Generally, the MoA can be considered a useful tool to unify 47 member states with different legal cultures under the supervision of the Court and leave them room for measures in accordance with local needs. However, as will be shown in view of the judgment S.A.S vs France, the MoA doctrine needs careful, principled application that is backed by sustainable reasoning. The inherent dangers of over-reliance might undermine the ECtHR’s position as final guarantor of the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and strip applicants of effective protection of their human rights by the Court.

Abstract: The relationship between the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights has grown out of two parallel projects of European integration with considerable differences not limited to their respective geographical range. In light of the upcoming accession of the EU to the ECHR, this backdrop is key to understanding current and future challenges. The general thrust of the link forged by the Articles 52 para 3 and 53 of the Charter is, while by no means free from scholarly debate as to its exact scope and meaning, relatively clear. Still, complications can arise in multipolar human rights relationships. Moreover, the relationship is ultimately shaped by a complex relationship of interdependent actors of the two overlapping legal areas, including (but not limited to) the triangle formed by the Strasbourg, the Luxembourg and the domestic constitutional courts.

Abstract: Since the present Constitution was enacted in 1947, Japan has been pursuing respect for fundamental human rights as a constitutional principle and is now a member state of the major human rights treaties adopted by the UN. However, as a country located in the Far East, Japan is in a unique and isolated position in the global human rights regime. This article analyses Japan’s response to recommendations from the human rights treaty bodies, and shows its reluctant response to be passive, delaying, partial, and inconsistent. Notwithstanding those flaws, the author proposes Japan take positive steps to contribute to further advancement of international human rights values both at the domestic and global levels. The principle of subsidiarity interpreted along with the concept of constitutional pluralism should work as a framework both for improving “constructive dialogue” with the treaty bodies and promoting respect for human rights worldwide.