The value of justice in the European Constitution

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Series Details 2006/08, Number 8
Publication Date 2006
ISSN 1725-6739
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The use of one and the same word, i.e. Justice in the English or French language to render the two concepts of Gerechtigkeit when the issue is about equitability or fairness in social relations, and of Justiz when the issue is about the administration of justice often lead lawyers to overlook the second aspect.

The Constitution for Europe addresses both issues. The issue of Gerechtigkeit has a prominent role in the values of the European Union, especially through the new emphasis on social rights embedded amongst others in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The issue of the administration of Justice, though being emphasised by the notion of “access to justice” in the Charter, receives less attention, and the EU judicial system is still in need of improvements, beyond the reforms of the Nice Treaty.

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