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The Principle Of Subsidiarity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the concepts of subsidiarity and discretion. It focuses on origin and basis of the principle of subsidiarity including the Courts leading case-law. The chapter then addresses the applicability of the principle of subsidiarity in respect of the Courts assessment of facts, lawfulness, European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) standards, and European Union (EC) law. The key to a proper understanding of the principle of subsidiarity lies in the recognition of the polysemic and synonymic nature of some of the most central terms and phrases used in the context of ECHR. The Court made it clear in the Belgian Linguistic case and Handyside that the principle of subsidiarity is based first and foremost on the position of the Court compared to domestic authorities.

Keywords: Belgian Linguistic case; European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); European Union (EC) law; Polysemi; Subsidiarity; synonymity



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