The European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Courts
This Chapter aims to highlight how the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU has been used by the Community Courts and national judges. After its solemn proclamation in December 2000 the Charter was formally not a legally binding instrument. However, this document has increasingly become a point of reference for Advocates General, the Court of First Instance and of the European Court of Justice, and has even been invoked by the Strasbourg Court and by constitutional courts of the Member States. Still, it appears that the use made of the Charter varies considerably and deserves closer consideration. It is argued that by attributing full legal force to the Charter the Lisbon Treaty enhances the integration process and improves the degree of legitimacy of the EU.