Dear Ms McNeill,

Thank you for your reply of 2 December 2010 in which you emphasise that you are not looking for the Commission to intervene on individual cases but rather you are asking the Commission to close the gap between the EU Fundamental Charter for Human Rights and the UK Human Rights Act 1998.

As a matter of principle, the Commission’s powers regarding acts and omissions by Member States are limited to overseeing the application of Union law, under the control of the Court of Justice (cf. Article 17(1) TEU). The Commission would recall that, according to Article 51(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the provisions of the Charter are addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. For this reason, the Commission is not in a position to address the relation between the UK Human Rights Act and the Charter.

Anyone who considers that any of her or his fundamental rights have been violated may lodge a complaint with the Council of Europe’s European Court of Human Rights (Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg-Cedex, France). Please note, however, that the Court may only deal with a matter after all domestic remedies have been exhausted.

Yours sincerely

Olivier TELL
Head of Unit

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