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Article 52 - Scope and interpretation

1. Any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognised by this Charter must be provided for by law and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms. Subject to the principle of proportionality, limitations may be made only if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others.
2. Rights recognised by this Charter for which provision is made in the Treaties shall be exercised under the conditions and within the limits defined by those Treaties.
3. In so far as this Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the meaning and scope of those rights shall be the same as those laid down by the said Convention. This provision shall not prevent Union law providing more extensive protection.
4. In so far as this Charter recognises fundamental rights as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, those rights shall be interpreted in harmony with those traditions.
5. The provisions of this Charter which contain principles may be implemented by legislative and executive acts taken by institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, and by acts of Member States when they are implementing Union law, in the exercise of their respective powers. They shall be judicially cognisable only in the interpretation of such acts and in the ruling on their legality.
6. Full account shall be taken of national laws and practices as specified in this Charter.
7. The explanations drawn up as a way of providing guidance in the interpretation of this Charter shall be given due regard by the courts of the Union and of the Member States.

    Text:

    The purpose of Article 52 is to set the scope of the rights and principles of the Charter, and to lay down rules for their interpretation. Paragraph 1 deals with the arrangements for the limitation of rights. The wording is based on the case-law of the Court of Justice: ‘... it is well established in the case-law of the Court that restrictions may be imposed on the exercise of fundamental rights, in particular in the context of a common organisation of the market, provided that those restrictions in fact correspond to objectives of general interest pursued by the Community and do not constitute, with regard to the aim pursued, disproportionate and unreasonable interference undermining the very substance of those rights’ (judgment of 13 April 2000, Case C-292/97, paragraph 45 of the grounds). The reference to general interests recognised by the Union covers both the objectives mentioned in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union and other interests protected by specific provisions of the Treaties such as Article 4(1) of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 35(3), 36 and 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    Paragraph 2 refers to rights which were already expressly guaranteed in the Treaty establishing the European Community and have been recognised in the Charter, and which are now found in the Treaties (notably the rights derived from Union citizenship). It clarifies that such rights remain subject to the conditions and limits applicable to the Union law on which they are based, and for which provision is made in the Treaties. The Charter does not alter the system of rights conferred by the EC Treaty and taken over by the Treaties.

    Paragraph 3 is intended to ensure the necessary consistency between the Charter and the ECHR by establishing the rule that, in so far as the rights in the present Charter also correspond to rights guaranteed by the ECHR, the meaning and scope of those rights, including authorised limitations, are the same as those laid down by the ECHR. This means in particular that the legislator, in laying down limitations to those rights, must comply with the same standards as are fixed by the detailed limitation arrangements laid down in the ECHR, which are thus made applicable for the rights covered by this paragraph, without thereby adversely affecting the autonomy of Union law and of that of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

    The reference to the ECHR covers both the Convention and the Protocols to it. The meaning and the scope of the guaranteed rights are determined not only by the text of those instruments, but also by the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The last sentence of the paragraph is designed to allow the Union to guarantee more extensive protection. In any event, the level of protection afforded by the Charter may never be lower than that guaranteed by the ECHR.

    The Charter does not affect the possibilities of Member States to avail themselves of Article 15 ECHR, allowing derogations from ECHR rights in the event of war or of other public dangers threatening the life of the nation, when they take action in the areas of national defence in the event of war and of the maintenance of law and order, in accordance with their responsibilities recognised in Article 4(1) of the Treaty on European Union and in Articles 72 and 347 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    The list of rights which may at the present stage, without precluding developments in the law, legislation and the Treaties, be regarded as corresponding to rights in the ECHR within the meaning of the present paragraph is given hereafter. It does not include rights additional to those in the ECHR.

    1. Articles of the Charter where both the meaning and the scope are the same as the corresponding Articles of the ECHR:

    — Article 2 corresponds to Article 2 of the ECHR,
    — Article 4 corresponds to Article 3 of the ECHR,
    — Article 5(1) and (2) corresponds to Article 4 of the ECHR,
    — Article 6 corresponds to Article 5 of the ECHR,
    — Article 7 corresponds to Article 8 of the ECHR,
    — Article 10(1) corresponds to Article 9 of the ECHR,
    — Article 11 corresponds to Article 10 of the ECHR without prejudice to any restrictions which Union law may impose on Member States' right to introduce the licensing arrangements referred to in the third sentence of Article 10(1) of the ECHR,
    — Article 17 corresponds to Article 1 of the Protocol to the ECHR,
    — Article 19(1) corresponds to Article 4 of Protocol No 4,
    — Article 19(2) corresponds to Article 3 of the ECHR as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights,
    — Article 48 corresponds to Article 6(2) and(3) of the ECHR,
    — Article 49(1) (with the exception of the last sentence) and (2) correspond to Article 7 of the ECHR.

    Articles where the meaning is the same as the corresponding Articles of the ECHR, but where the scope is wider:

    — Article 9 covers the same field as Article 12 of the ECHR, but its scope may be extended to other forms of marriage if these are established by national legislation,
    — Article 12(1) corresponds to Article 11 of the ECHR, but its scope is extended to European Union level,
    — Article 14(1) corresponds to Article 2 of the Protocol to the ECHR, but its scope is extended to cover access to vocational and continuing training,
    — Article 14(3) corresponds to Article 2 of the Protocol to the ECHR as regards the rights of parents,
    — Article 47(2) and (3) corresponds to Article 6(1) of the ECHR, but the limitation to the determination of civil rights and obligations or criminal charges does not apply as regards Union law and its implementation,
    — Article 50 corresponds to Article 4 of Protocol No 7 to the ECHR, but its scope is extended to European Union level between the Courts of the Member States,
    — Finally, citizens of the European Union may not be considered as aliens in the scope of the application of Union law, because of the prohibition of any discrimination on grounds of nationality. The limitations provided for by Article 16 of the ECHR as regards the rights of aliens therefore do not apply to them in this context.

    The rule of interpretation contained in paragraph 4 has been based on the wording of Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union and takes due account of the approach to common constitutional traditions followed by the Court of Justice (e.g., judgment of 13 December 1979, Case 44/79 Hauer [1979] ECR 3727; judgment of 18 May 1982, Case 155/ 79 AM&S [1982] ECR 1575). Under that rule, rather than following a rigid approach of ‘a lowest common denominator’, the Charter rights concerned should be interpreted in a way offering a high standard of protection which is adequate for the law of the Union and in harmony with the common constitutional traditions.

    Paragraph 5 clarifies the distinction between ‘rights’ and ‘principles’ set out in the Charter. According to that distinction, subjective rights shall be respected, whereas principles shall be observed (Article 51(1)). Principles may be implemented through legislative or executive acts (adopted by the Union in accordance with its powers, and by the Member States only when they implement Union law); accordingly, they become significant for the Courts only when such acts are interpreted or reviewed. They do not however give rise to direct claims for positive action by the Union's institutions or Member States authorities. This is consistent both with case-law of the Court of Justice (cf. notably case-law on the ‘precautionary principle’ in Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: judgment of the CFI of 11 September 2002, Case T-13/99 Pfizer v Council, with numerous references to earlier case-law; and a series of judgments on Article 33 (ex-39) on the principles of agricultural law, e.g. judgment of the Court of Justice in Case 265/85 Van den Berg [1987] ECR 1155: scrutiny of the principle of market stabilisation and of reasonable expectations) and with the approach of the Member States' constitutional systems to ‘principles’, particularly in the field of social law. For illustration, examples for principles, recognised in the Charter include e.g. Articles 25, 26 and 37. In some cases, an Article of the Charter may contain both elements of a right and of a principle, e.g. Articles 23, 33 and 34.

    Paragraph 6 refers to the various Articles in the Charter which, in the spirit of subsidiarity, make reference to national laws and practices.

    Source:
    Official Journal of the European Union C 303/17 - 14.12.2007

    Preamble - Explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights:
    These explanations were originally prepared under the authority of the Praesidium of the Convention which drafted the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Although they do not as such have the status of law, they are a valuable tool of interpretation intended to clarify the provisions of the Charter.

30 results found

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
    URL:
    Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
    Country:
    Czechia

    Article 4 (...) (2) Limitations may be placed upon the fundamental rights and freedoms only by law and under the conditions prescribed in this Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. (3) Any statutory limitation upon the fundamental rights and freedoms must apply in the same way to all cases which meet the specified conditions. (4) When employing the provisions concerning limitations upon the fundamental rights and freedoms, the essence and significance of these rights and freedoms must be preserved. Such limitations shall not be misused for purposes other than those for which they were enacted.

  • Listina základních práv a svobod
    URL:
    Listina základních práv a svobod
    Country:
    Czechia

    Článek 4 (...) (2) Meze základních práv a svobod mohou být za podmínek stanovených Listinou základních práv a svobod upraveny pouze zákonem. (3) Zákonná omezení základních práv a svobod musí platit stejně pro všechny případy, které splňují stanovené podmínky. (4) Při používání ustanovení o mezích základních práv a svobod musí být šetřeno jejich podstaty a smyslu. Taková omezení nesmějí být zneužívána k jiným účelům, než pro které byla stanovena.

  • Human Rights Act 1998
    URL:
    Human Rights Act 1998
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    Article 18 - Limitation on use of restrictions on rights.The restrictions permitted under this Convention to the said rights and freedoms shall not be applied for any purpose other than those for which they have been prescribed.

  • Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia
    URL:
    Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia
    Country:
    Slovenia

    Article 15 (Exercise and Limitation of Rights) Human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be exercised directly on the basis of the Constitution. The manner in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are exercised may be regulated by law whenever the Constitution so provides or where this is necessary due to the particular nature of an individual right or freedom. Human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be limited only by the rights of others and in such cases as are provided by this Constitution. Judicial protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the right to obtain redress for the violation of such rights and freedoms, shall be guaranteed. No human right or fundamental freedom regulated by legal acts in force in Slovenia may be restricted on the grounds that this Constitution does not recognise that right or freedom or recognises it to a lesser extent.

  • Ustava Republike Slovenije
    URL:
    Ustava Republike Slovenije
    Country:
    Slovenia

    15. člen (uresničevanje in omejevanje pravic) Človekove pravice in temeljne svoboščine se uresničujejo neposredno na podlagi ustave. Z zakonom je mogoče predpisati način uresničevanja človekovih pravic in temeljnih svoboščin, kadar tako določa ustava, ali če je to nujno zaradi same narave posamezne pravice ali svoboščine. Človekove pravice in temeljne svoboščine so omejene samo s pravicami drugih in v primerih, ki jih določa ta ustava. agotovljeni sta sodno varstvo človekovih pravic in temeljnih svoboščin ter pravica do odprave posledic njihove kršitve. Nobene človekove pravice ali temeljne svoboščine, urejene v pravnih aktih, ki veljajo v Sloveniji, ni dopustno omejevati z izgovorom, da je ta ustava ne priznava ali da jo priznava v manjši meri.

  • Constitution of the Slovak Republic
    URL:
    Constitution of the Slovak Republic
    Country:
    Slovakia

    Article 13 (...) (2) Limits to basic rights and freedoms may be set only by law under conditions laid down in this Constitution. (3) Legal restrictions of basic rights and freedoms must apply equally to all cases which meet prescribed conditions. (4) When restricting basic rights and freedoms, attention must be paid to their essence and meaning. These restrictions may only be used for the prescribed purpose.

  • Ústava Slovenskej republiky
    URL:
    Ústava Slovenskej republiky
    Country:
    Slovakia

    Čl. 13 (...) (2) Medze základných práv a slobôd možno upraviť za podmienok ustanovených touto ústavou len zákonom. (3) Zákonné obmedzenia základných práv a slobôd musia platiť rovnako pre všetky prípady, ktoré spĺňajú ustanovené podmienky. (4) Pri obmedzovaní základných práv a slobôd sa musí dbať na ich podstatu a zmysel. Takéto obmedzenia sa môžu použiť len na ustanovený cieľ.

  • Constituição da República Portuguesa
    URL:
    Constituição da República Portuguesa
    Country:
    Portugal

    Artigo 16.º (Âmbito e sentido dos direitos fundamentais) 1. Os direitos fundamentais consagrados na Constituição não excluem quaisquer outros constantes das leis e das regras aplicáveis de direito internacional. 2. Os preceitos constitucionais e legais relativos aos direitos fundamentais devem ser interpretados e integrados de harmonia com a Declaração Universal dos Direitos do Homem. Artigo 18.º (Força jurídica) 1. Os preceitos constitucionais respeitantes aos direitos, liberdades e garantias são directamente aplicáveis e vinculam as entidades públicas e privadas. 2. A lei só pode restringir os direitos, liberdades e garantias nos casos expressamente previstos na Constituição, devendo as restrições limitar-se ao necessário para salvaguardar outros direitos ou interesses constitucionalmente protegidos. 3. As leis restritivas de direitos, liberdades e garantias têm de revestir carácter geral e abstracto e não podem ter efeito retroactivo nem diminuir a extensão e o alcance do conteúdo essencial dos preceitos constitucionais.

  • Constitution of the Portuguese Republic
    URL:
    Constitution of the Portuguese Republic
    Country:
    Portugal

    Article 16 (Scope and interpretation of fundamental rights) (1) The fundamental rights contained in this Constitution shall not exclude any other fundamental rights provided for in the laws or resulting from applicable rules of international law. (2) The provisions of this Constitution and of laws relating to fundamental rights shall be construed and interpreted in harmony with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 18 (Legal force) (1) The constitutional precepts with regard to rights, freedoms and guarantees are directly applicable and are binding on public and private entities. (2) Rights, freedoms and guarantees may be restricted by law in only those cases expressly provided for in this Constitution; restrictions shall be limited to the extent necessary to safeguard other rights or interests protected by this Constitution. (3) Laws restricting rights, freedoms and guarantees shall be general and abstract in character, shall not have retroactive effect and shall not limit, in extent or scope, the essential content of the constitutional provisions.

  • Constitution of the Republic of Poland
    URL:
    Constitution of the Republic of Poland
    Country:
    Poland

    Constitution of the Republic of PolandArticle 31.3. Any limitation upon the exercise of constitutional freedoms and rights may by imposed only by statute, and only when necessary in a democratic state for the protection of its security or public order, or to protect the natural environment, health or public morals, or the freedoms and rights of other persons. Such limitations shall not violate the essence of freedoms and rights.

  • Konstytucja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
    URL:
    Konstytucja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
    Country:
    Poland

    Art. 31.3. Ograniczenia w zakresie korzystania z konstytucyjnych wolności i praw mogą być ustanawiane tylko w ustawie i tylko wtedy, gdy są konieczne w demokratycznym państwie dla jego bezpieczeństwa lub porządku publicznego, bądź dla ochrony środowiska, zdrowia i moralności publicznej, albo wolności i praw innych osób. Ograniczenia te nie mogą naruszać istoty wolności i praw.

  • Constitution of the Republic of Latvia
    URL:
    Constitution of the Republic of Latvia
    Country:
    Latvia

    116. The rights of persons set out in Articles ninety-six, ninety-seven, ninety-eight, one hundred, one hundred and two, one hundred and three, one hundred and six, and one hundred and eight of the Constitution may be subject to restrictions in circumstances provided for by law in order to protect the rights of other people, the democratic structure of the State, and public safety, welfare and morals. On the basis of the conditions set forth in this Article, restrictions may also be imposed on the expression of religious beliefs.

  • Latvijas Republikas Satversme
    URL:
    Latvijas Republikas Satversme
    Country:
    Latvia

    116. Personas tiesības, kas noteiktas Satversmes deviņdesmit sestajā, deviņdesmit septītajā, deviņdesmit astotajā, simtajā, simt otrajā, simt trešajā, simt sestajā un simt astotajā pantā, var ierobežot likumā paredzētajos gadījumos, lai aizsargātu citu cilvēku tiesības, demokrātisko valsts iekārtu, sabiedrības drošību, labklājību un tikumību. Uz šajā pantā minēto nosacījumu pamata var ierobežot arī reliģiskās pārliecības paušanu.

  • Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
    URL:
    Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
    Country:
    Germany

    Article 19 (1) Insofar as, under this Basic Law, a basic right may be restricted by or pursuant to a law, such law must apply generally and not merely to a single case. In addition, the law must specify the basic right affected and the Article in which it appears. (2) In no case may the essence of a basic right be affected. (3) The basic rights shall also apply to domestic artificial persons to the extent that the nature of such rights permits.

  • Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    URL:
    Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    Country:
    Germany

    Artikel 19 (1) Soweit nach diesem Grundgesetz ein Grundrecht durch Gesetz oder auf Grund eines Gesetzes eingeschränkt werden kann, muß das Gesetz allgemein und nicht nur für den Einzelfall gelten. Außerdem muß das Gesetz das Grundrecht unter Angabe des Artikels nennen. (2) In keinem Falle darf ein Grundrecht in seinem Wesensgehalt angetastet werden. (3) Die Grundrechte gelten auch für inländische juristische Personen, soweit sie ihrem Wesen nach auf diese anwendbar sind.

  • Declaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen du 26 août 1789
    URL:
    Declaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen du 26 août 1789
    Country:
    France

    Article 4 La liberté consiste à pouvoir faire tout ce qui ne nuit pas à autrui : ainsi, l'exercice des droits naturels de chaque homme n'a de bornes que celles qui assurent aux autres Membres de la Société la jouissance de ces mêmes droits. Ces bornes ne peuvent être déterminées que par la Loi.

  • Declaration of human and civic rights of 26 August 1789
    URL:
    Declaration of human and civic rights
    Country:
    France

    Article 4 Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.

  • Constitution of Finland
    URL:
    Constitution of Finland
    Country:
    Finland

    Section 23 Basic rights and liberties in situations of emergency Such provisional exceptions to basic rights and liberties that are compatible with Finland's international human rights obligations and that are deemed necessary in the case of an armed attack against Finland or in the event of other situations of emergency, as provided by an Act, which pose a serious threat to the nation may be provided by an Act or by a Government Decree to be issued on the basis of authorisation given in an Act for a special reason and subject to a precisely circumscribed scope of application. The grounds for provisional exceptions shall be laid down by an Act, however. Government Decrees concerning provisional exceptions shall without delay be submitted to the Parliament for consideration. The Parliament may decide on the validity of the Decrees.

  • Suomen perustuslaki
    URL:
    Suomen perustuslaki
    Country:
    Finland

    23 § Perusoikeudet poikkeusoloissa Perusoikeuksista voidaan säätää lailla tai laissa erityisestä syystä säädetyn ja soveltamisalaltaan täsmällisesti rajatun valtuuden nojalla annettavalla valtioneuvoston asetuksella sellaisia tilapäisiä poikkeuksia, jotka ovat välttämättömiä Suomeen kohdistuvan aseellisen hyökkäyksen samoin kuin muiden kansakuntaa vakavasti uhkaavien, laissa säädettyjen poikkeusolojen aikana ja jotka ovat Suomen kansainvälisten ihmisoikeusvelvoitteiden mukaisia. Lailla on kuitenkin säädettävä tilapäisten poikkeusten perusteet. Tilapäisiä poikkeuksia koskevat valtioneuvoston asetukset on saatettava viipymättä eduskunnan käsiteltäviksi. Eduskunta voi päättää asetusten voimassaolosta.

  • Constitution of the Republic of Estonia
    URL:
    Constitution of the Republic of Estonia
    Country:
    Estonia

    Article 11. Rights and freedoms may only be circumscribed in accordance with the Constitution. Such circumscription must be necessary in a democratic society and may not distort the nature of the rights and freedoms circumscribed.

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