European court ‘steamrolling’ Britain, warns leading judge

Lord Mance warns the EU must not “steamroll” national courts to impose human rights rules on countries including the UK

The European Union must not “steamroll” national courts to impose European human rights rules on countries like the UK, one of Britain’s most senior judges has warned.

Lord Mance, a justice of the Supreme Court, raised concerns over the way the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the EU’s top court, attempts to impose the Charter of Fundamental Rights on British judges.

By failing to respect the sensitivities of national courts and voters, the Luxembourg-based court risks undermining trust in the EU, the judge said.

The judge is the most senior member of the British judiciary to raise concerns about the application of the charter, which was introduced with the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and creates a range of new legal human rights.

Britain negotiated a partial exemption from many of those rights, but doubts remain about the extent to which the charter binds judges in domestic courts when they deal with laws that originate with the EU.


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