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COMMENTS 

An interview with the President of the European Court of Human Rights

Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights since September 2012, has served as a Judge in the Court for over a decade. In a recent interview with the UCL Law Society’s Silk v. Brief, highlights of which are condensed in the blog post below, he discusses the evolving role of human rights in Europe, and explores the complicated relationship between the UK and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Dean Spielmann
23 March 2015 More...

Starts: Mar 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at UCL and practising barrister in international law, and Helena Kennedy, a leading barrister and academic in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues, were members of the 2011 Commission on a Bill of Rights. In highlights from a recent article in the London Review of Books, they discuss how human rights intersect with politics, examine the UK’s strained relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights, and question the possible motivations lying behind the proposed Bill.
Prof. Philippe Sands 
Helena Kennedy
1 April 2015 More...

Starts: Apr 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Exploring ‘Exploratory Governance': the Hertie Governance Report 2015

With the Eurozone crisis not yet over, Albert Weale, Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, reviews the Hertie Governance Report 2015 as it analyses the key issues facing the European Institutions in terms of economic governance. As ad hoc solutions are found to deal with urgent matters, what does this mean for political accountability and reform in the EU, and what lessons have been learnt?
Prof. Albert Weale
14 April 2015 More...

Starts: Apr 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM

WP2: The Domestic Deficits of Representative Democracy in EU Affairs

Publication date: Nov 14, 2011 10:19 AM

Start: Nov 14, 2011 12:00 AM
End: Dec 01, 2011 12:00 AM

Professor Richard Bellamy (UCL) and Dr Sandra Kröger (Exeter)


Download the full paper as a PDF file.


Abstract

Ever since the problematic ratification of the Maastricht Treaty and the accompanying debate about a democratic deficit of the EU, politicians – rather more than scholars – have sought to strengthen the role of national Parliaments in EU policy-making. Accordingly, a legally binding Protocol on the role of National Parliaments in the European Union was added to the Amsterdam Treaty, which entered into force in 1997. The Protocol accorded parliaments the right to receive information on EU affairs, demanded that there be a six week period between issuing a legislative proposal and its adoption by the Council, and introduced rules for the cooperation between national parliaments and the European Parliament (EP). How far, and in what ways, parliaments took advantage of these new rights and provisions was largely left up to them.

The Lisbon Treaty marks a step change in this respect. Not only is it the first EU Treaty even to mention national parliaments in the main text, but also it gives them a potentially significant legal status in the democratic governance of the EU. In making this change, Member States have indicated that parliaments possess certain key democratic competences which should and possibly could not be assumed by the EP. For example, it has been the 17 national parliaments of the euro zone rather than the EP that have been the crucial sources of democratic legitimacy for the response of Member States to the Euro crisis.

This paper explores whether these domestic representative institutions are capable of living up to the normative role assigned to them and argues that to a degree that capacity has been eroded by the very process of European integration they are now supposed to control.


The Working Paper Series

Launching a new series of discussion and working papers in 2011-12, the European Institute is commissioning article-length research papers from UCL and external scholars specialising on Europe and the European Union.

Often, these will have grown out of, or provided input into, public panel discussions and workshops organised by the Institute. Part of the argument developed in Working Paper 2 was first rehearsed during a workshop in December 2010 with members of parliament, legal counsel and several academic experts on the role of National Parliaments post-Lisbon. It was organised by the Institute in cooperation with the Embassy of Belgium to the UK on the occasion of the Belgian Presidency of the EU.


For further commentaries and working papers, please see here.