The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: An essential tool for Scottish practitioners


A JUSTICE / Glasgow Bar Association training conference

Tuesday 11 December 2012, 5.30 – 7.30pm

The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU

£40 (£35 for JUSTICE and Glasgow Bar Association members)

2 hours CPD Faculty of Advocates/Law Society of Scotland

Chaired by: Lady Scott

The essentials covered:

  • The EU Charter – a practitioner’s tool for rights protection
  • Overview of Charter rights and when they apply
  • How the Court of Justice of the European Union works – with case examples applicable to domestic courts
  • How to use the Charter to bolster rights focussed arguments in domestic cases

see Programme      see Speakers

The EU Charter became binding in December 2009 when the Lisbon Treaty came into force. It offers a wider set of rights than the European Convention on Human Rights and, where rights overlap with the Convention, the Court of Justice of the European Union has used it in some circumstances to provide greater protection. But how does the Charter affect Scottish law and practice? And how can Scottish lawyers use the Charter in their work?

This intensive two-hour evening session will provide a solid introduction to the Charter and its effects across a range of practice areas.


5.00 Registration – tea and coffee available

5.30 Introduction to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights 

Jodie Blackstock, Director of Criminal and EU Justice Policy, JUSTICE

  • What is the Charter?
  • What is its basis?
  • How does it affect Scottish law?
  • The Charter’s scope – areas of practice covered and interaction between rights and privileges protected
  • The effect of the UK protocol

6.30 Using the EU Charter

James Wolffe QC, Axiom Advocates and John McGovern, DAC Beachcroft Scotland  

The EU Charter is of greatest use where the protections of the European Convention on Human Rights are missing or inadequate. This session will identify gaps in the ECHR and give delegates tips as to how the EU Charter might plug them. It will examine the relevant case law of the CJEU and domestic courts and look at potential areas for development, including:

  • mounting an EU claim – is it a devolution issue?
  • when and how to use the Charter to secure a fair trial and to obtain redress
  • how to mount a claim relying on its rights or principles
  • How the Charter can aid the wider protection of economic and social rights
  • Wider remit of Article 47 CFR over Article 6 ECHR
  • Article 24 – the best interests of the child
  • Articles 39 and 40 – the right to vote

7.30 Close 


Jodie Blackstock Is a barrister and Director of Criminal and EU Justice Policy at JUSTICE. Her work involves lobbying on policy and legislative proposals, conducting research and intervening in cases in the public interest in the field of criminal justice at both UK and EU levels. Before joining JUSTICE, she practiced from One Crown Office Row Chambers. She sits on the Bar’s Human Rights and EU Law Committees.  

James Wolffe QC became an advocate in 1992 and took silk in 2007. He was First Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Ministers from 2002 to 2007, and served as an Advocate Depute from 2007 to 2010. He has extensive experience of both commercial and public law and has been instructed for cases at all levels, including the House of Lords, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the European Court of Human Rights. He is a member of the JUSTICE Scotland Council.

John McGovern was enrolled as a solicitor in 1990 and qualified as a Solicitor Advocate in 2005. He has almost twenty-five years experience in courts, tribunals, adjudications and arbitrations. In January 2010, The Times described him as ‘one of Scotland’s most distinguished lawyers’. He was president of the Glasgow Bar Association in 2010.

Event details

Location:The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU
Times:Registration 5.00pm; Programme: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Date(s):11 December 2012


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