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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

On-line version ISSN 2183-184X


SEVER, Saša. The horizontal effect of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights: from market integration towards the social justice?. e-Pública [online]. 2014, vol.1, n.3, pp.174-193. ISSN 2183-184X.

It is now hardly a disputed matter that fundamental rights in the European Union (hereinafter EU) may apply in proceedings between private parties (horizontal effect). So far, the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter Court of Justice) has recognised such an effect with regard to the general principle of equality as it is expressed in different forms in various legal acts of the EU. Such is an example of the Chapter on ‘Equality' of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (hereinafter Charter)1 which prohibits discrimination on various grounds and imposes directives to implement it. It is however less explored what is a rationale for the application of fundamental rights in relationships between private parties? While some authors argue that it is the promotion of the social justice, according to this article, horizontal effect of fundamental rights of the Charter pursues the latter objective only partly. This thesis is supported by references to the case-law of the Court of Justice and selected academic publications.

Keywords : EU law; Charter of fundamental rights; horizontal effect; general principles of law; social justice.

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