Fundamental Rights in EEA Law – 12 June 2015

Spring Conferences

On 12 June 2015, the EFTA Court held its annual Spring Conference with participants from all branches of the legal profession. The topic of this year’s conference was “Fundamental Rights in EEA Law”. After President Carl Baudenbacher set the ground for the day, Judge Páll Hreinsson spoke on “Fundamental Rights as Part of the EEA’s General Principles”. Lively discussions accompanied the panel on “Access to Justice as a Fundamental Right in the EEA?” chaired by Alan Bates of Monckton Chambers and featuring Bjørnar Alterskjær, Professor David Thor Björgvinsson, former Judge at the ECHR, and Judge Wilhelm Ungerank from the Court of Appeal of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Insights on the question of incorporating the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into in the EEA Agreement were provided by a panel chaired by Professor Piet Eeckhout, UCL. The panel was composed of Professor Halvard Haukeland Fredriksen (Bergen University), Professor Eleftheria Neframi (University of Luxembourg) and Judge Allan Rosas (Court of Justice of the European Union). Professor Daniel Halberstam from University of Michigan reconstructed the objections to the ECJ’s Opinion 2/13 based on his theory of “plural constitutionalism”. Justice Arnfinn Bårdsen of the Norwegian Supreme Court concluded the day’s conference with his personal views on the importance of a constructive discourse between national, international and supranational courts for the future of fundamental rights within European law.