Some thoughts on Judicial Cooperation and the Protection of Human Rights in the European Union: Theoretical Background and Open Questions**


Summary. I. Judicial Cooperation in the Rome Treaty and Beyond – II. Principles of EU Judicial Cooperation – III.  The Protection of Human Rights and EU Judicial Cooperation – IV. International Law Sources on Human Rights Protection and EU Judicial Cooperation – Concluding remarks.


  1. Judicial Cooperation in the Rome Treaty and Beyond

Under Article 220[1] of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Communities (1957, hereinafter, EEC Treaty), the latter communities encouraged own member states improving mutual cooperation in civil law matters. This objective was later achieved at first in 1968 with the establishment of Brussels Convention assessing criteria for judicial competence and the mutual recognition of judgments on contractual obligations[2].  

It is wise recalling how, as from entry into force of Brussels Convention, a judge institutionally placed outside national legal systems, that is, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), is empowered by national judiciaries to understand same Convention’s provisions, in particular by means of the preliminary ruling mechanism under previous article 177  EEC Treaty (corresponding to current art. 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU [3]).

[1] According to that provision, the Member States would have initiated among themselves, “negotiations aimed at ensuring, for the benefit of their citizens […] the simplification of the formalities to which the mutual recognition and mutual enforcement of judicial decisions are subjected”, see Treaty establishing the European Economic Communities, accessible (just in French, German, Dutch and Italian) on-line here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/treaty/teec/sign.

[2] 1968 Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (consolidated version), OJ C 27 of 26.1.1998 p. 1. On this source of EU Law, an abundant literature exists. It may suffice to mention here F. Pocar (ed.), La Convenzione di Bruxelles sulla giurisdizione e l’esecuzione delle sentenze, Milano, 1995 and T.C. Hartley, International Commercial Litigation. Text, Cases and Materials on Private International Law, Cambridge, 2009, part. pp. 19 ff.

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