Linking European judges: between the Charter and the Convention (01/09/2016-31/08/2019)

The study of fundamental rights and freedoms at the national level has been transformed by the interplay of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (hereinafter, the "Charter") and the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, the "ECHR") with regard to national constitutional law. The role of national judges in this field cannot be understood without these normative tools and, particularly, without the interaction with the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter, the "CJEU") and the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter, the "ECrtHR"). The national scene of fundamental rights and freedoms should be approached taking into account these normative and judicial developments.

Prof. Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz and the academic staff of the Constitutional Law Department of University Pompey Fabra are part and contribute to the development and consolidation of a European research agenda on these matters together with prestigious research centres such as the University of Kent, the University of Salzburg and the European University Institute of Florence. The efforts are directed to assess the value and nature of the Charter and the ECHR as a sources of law in their respective legal systems -European Union law and conventional law-, their impact in the sources of law of national legal systems and, in particular, the role of European judiciaries in applying them. Ultimately, the research agenda highlights the transformations of national constitutional law as a consequence of the networking of European judges and the use of the Charter and the ECHR at the national level.

This proposal for the Jean Monnet Chair pursues to strengthen this research agenda and, particularly, to integrate the outputs in the academic curriculum of the Faculty of Law of Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Prof. Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz held a Jean Monnet ad personam (2007-2010), which was determinant for the modernisation and reform of the basic academic curriculum of Constitutional law. In this first phase, the efforts focused on the interrelationship between national constitutional law and European Union law (mainly from the institutional standpoint). The current proposal follows this path and addresses the impact of European Union law and conventional law in the field of fundamental rights and freedoms. This would allow accomplishing the whole reconceptualization of the official curriculum of constitutional law in the Faculty of Law of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels). In this regard, both the institutional and dogmatic sections (fundamental rights and freedoms) of national constitutional law would be reconceptualised from the European perspective studies.

This proposal also complements the other two Jean Monnet Chairs awarded to professors of the University Pompeu Fabra. The Jean Monnet Chair on EU Governance of Prof. Javier Arregui Moreno, in the Public Policy Center, is focused on new governance issues from a political science perspective. The Jean Monnet Chair awarded to Prof. Fernando Girao is devoted to the study of the history of European integration. The legal studies at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra also have to incorporate the European perspective and, after a first phase between 2007 and 2010, this proposal is an opportunity to rethink the official curriculum for the teaching of constitutional law.

Beyond the changes to the official curriculum, this proposal will also follow up the European agenda on fundamental rights and freedoms and the relationship between the Charter-ECHR-national constitutional law, having in mind the role of the European judiciary as the key actor. The aim of the current proposal is to persist in this agenda and to spread the outputs to young researchers, legal practitioners and judges and the public as a whole. To that end, this proposal contains two additional activities: one conference per year addressed to different targets (young researchers, judges, prosecutors and lawyers, on the one hand, and policymakers and civil society, on the other) and encourage, advise and mentor young professors and scholars through the supervision of PhD dissertations. Prof. Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz has a broad experience in training young scholars and this Jean Monnet Chair proposal wants to follow this path.

Finally, two deliverables will ensure the impact and dissemination of the results of the Chair. First, an academic-collective book to be published in a prestigious European publisher, which will be the result of one of the three conferences, can contribute to the academic literature on European legal studies. Second, the didactic materials designed and prepared for the teaching activities will be useful for future generations of professors on these matters. These didactic materials will be in free educational resources open to all the educational community.




Prof. Dr. Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz



Prof. Dr. Alejandro Saiz Arnaiz is currently a full-time Professor of Constitutional Law ("Catedrático") at University Pompeu Fabra. As a professor, he has broad experience in teaching European Union Constitutional law, European fundamental rights and freedoms and national constitutional law at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair ad personam in European Constitutional Law (2007-2010). From 2007 to 2016, he was the Director of the Law Department at University Pompeu Fabra.

Since July 2015, he is a member of the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). From June 2008 till December 2014, he was appointed Judge ad hoc of the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, from September 2001 till August 2006, he was legal advisor of the Spanish General Council for the Judiciary.


Jean Monnet Activities - Jean Monnet Chair
Call Proposal: EAC-A04-2015
Agreement/Decision Number: 20162410
Project Number: 575046-EPP-1-2016-1-ES-EPPJMO-CHAIR