1. The Birth of European Fundamental Rights
2. United Nations Law: External Limits to European Human Rights?
3. The Charter of Fundamental Rights
4. The “External” Bill of Rights: the European Convention on Human Rights
The protection of human rights is a central task of many modern constitutions. Fundamental rights are here designed to set protective limits to governmental action(s). This protective task is principally transferred onto the judiciary and involves the judicial review of governmental action. The protection of human rights may be limited to judicial review of the executive. But in its expansive form, it extends to the review of parliamentary legislation.
The European Union follows this wider constitutional tradition. It considers itself to be “founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights”. Human rights are thus given a “foundational” status and constitutionally limit the exercise of all Union competences.