The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is the EU’s bill of human rights. It contains 50 articles with substantive rights and principles, followed by four articles with general provisions. Member States have a duty to respect the rights and observe the principles of the Charter whenever they are acting within the scope of binding EU law. Where the Charter provisions are sufficiently precise and unconditional, they can have a direct effect at the national level – for instance in national courtrooms. Charter provisions that are ‘principles’ can only be invoked before a court if implemented by legislative or executive acts.
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