Human Rights, International Economic Law and 'Constitutional Justice'
Title: Human Rights, International Economic Law and 'Constitutional Justice'
Author: PETERSMANN, Ernst-Ulrich
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
Citation: European Journal of International Law, 2008, 19, 4, 769-798
According to J. Rawls, 'in a constitutional regime with judicial review, public reason is the reason of its supreme court'; it is of constitutional importance for the 'overlapping, constitutional consensus' necessary for it stable and just society among free, equal, and rational citizens who tend to be deeply divided by conflicting moral, religious, and philosophical doctrines.(1) The European Court of Justice (ECJ). the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) Court successfully transformed the intergovernmental European Community (EC) treaties and the European Convention oil Human Rights (ECHR) into constitutional orders founded on respect for human rights. Their 'judicial constitutionalization' of intergovernmental treaty regimes was accepted by citizens. national courts, parliaments, and governments because the judicial 'European public reason' protected more effectively individual rights and European 'public goods' (like the EC's common market). The 'Solange method' of cooperation among European courts 'as long as' constitutional rights are adequately protected reflects an 'overlapping constitutional consensus' oil the need for 'constitutional justice' in European law. The power-oriented rationality of governments interested in limiting their judicial accountability is increasingly challenged also in worldwide dispute settlement practices. Judicial interpretation of intergovernmental rules as protecting also individual rights may be justifiable notably in citizen-driven areas of international economic law protecting mutually beneficial cooperation among citizens and individual rights (e.g. of access to courts). Multi-level economic. environmental, and human rights governance can become more reasonable and more effective if national and international courts cooperate in protecting the ride of international law for the benefit of citizens (as 'democratic principals' of governments) with due regard for human rights and their constitutional concretization in national and international legal systems.
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