Posts Tagged ‘constitutional law’

General Court Orders Partial Disclosure in Access to ECHR Accession Negotiation Documents Case

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Law professor offers constitutional arguments for the disclosure of important Council documents. The General Court orders the Council to reconsider the scope of partial disclosure, but only on procedural grounds.

By Maarten Hillebrandt

besselink-leonard-fdr-hoogleraar-fotojeroenoerlemansOn Thursday 12 September, the General Court gave its judgment in Besselink v Council (T-331/11). In January 2011, Leonard Besselink (pictured), then Professor of Constitutional Law at Utrecht University, requested access to the documents relating to the EU’s negotiations to accede to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). In these documents, the Council discussed the strategic and substantive instructions to the Commission, which negotiated the accession on the EU’s behalf. The final draft of this draft accession treaty is currently going through the process of ratification. However, the Council refused access to the documents in which it instructed the Commission, on the basis of Article 4(1), third indent, of Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to EU documents. This article states that access must be refused where disclosure would undermine the public interest with regard to international relations.  (more…)

Utrecht Dissertation on Transparency in EU Law Awarded Cum Laude

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Anoeska Buijze of the Utrecht Law School defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “The Principle of Transparency in EU Law” at Utrecht’s Academy Building on Friday 15 March. She was awarded cum laude for her considerable efforts at structuring a complex legal concept of EU law.


In her dissertation, Buijze uses a triple concept of the European citizen in order to disentangle the several rationales that underpin transparency at the European level. She recognises the citoyen (the participating citizen in the classical Greek sense), the homo dignus (a rights-bearing individual in the private sphere) and the homo economicus (the individual in pursuit of material welfare). Each of these citizen types, Buijze argues, provides a different rationale for certain types of access to information. She comes to this conclusion through a detailed analysis of a number of fields of law (public access to information, public procurement, electronic communications law, and state aid).