L’application consternante de la Charte sociale européenne par le Royaume-Uni

Dans l’article suivant (Ewing, K. D. (2022). The ‘manifestation’ of social rights and the marginalisation of the European Social Charter in the United Kingdom de la Lex Social, Revista De Derechos Sociales, 12(2),1–27.), le professeur de droit établit une critique virulente de l’application déficiente de la Charte par le Royaume-Uni, ses cours et tribunaux et l’insuffisant intérêt du Parlement pour ce traité, malgré les engagements politiques antérieurs, y compris l’accord avec l’Union européenne sur le Brexit.

Est reproduit ci-dessous un très large extrait des conclusions de l’étude du professeur Ewing :

“In evidence to the JCHR (Joint Committee on Human Rights of both Houses of Parliament) in relation to the Trade Union Bill 2015, John Hendy QC and I drew attention to the Social Charter and wrote that the ‘United Kingdom’s historic record of non-compliance with this instrument (ratified by a Conservative government in 1962) is shocking, and the continuing indifference to the legal obligations it contains is alarming’. These words still ring true today:

    • The United Kingdom has failed to ratify any substantive protocol since 1962, and now accepts only 59 of the Charter’s 72 paragraphs;
    • The British government has been found to be in conformity with less than a half of the Social Charter’s paragraphs which it has accepted;
    • The British government has failed to honour a commitment to Parliament made in 2004 that it will ratify the Revised Social Charter;
    • The British government does not permit Collective Complaints to the European Committee of Social Rights;
    • The British courts have marginalized the Social Charter, and the ECtHR appears now to be doing the same in British cases;
    • The British government has sought actively to undermine the authority of the European Committee of Social Rights;
    • The British Parliament’s human rights committee (JCHR) does not take the Social Charter seriously and rarely refers to it; and
    • The United Kingdom has recently given notice of its intention no longer to be bound by a previously accepted paragraph, undoubtedly a regressive step.

These are problems that pre-date Brexit, though Brexit is unlikely to help.

(…) It ought to be said that the political and legal failings addressed above stand in sharp contrast to the active engagement of British-based or one time British-based scholars who have approached the Social Charter from multiple dimensions. One group has come to the Social Charter from what might be described as a human rights perspective (Churchill and Khaliq, Cullen, Harris, Noland, O’Cinneide); a second has approached it from what might be described as a labour law perspective (Kahn-Freund, Novitz, and O’Higgins); while more recently a third dimension has been opened up, with the examination of the Social Charter from an EU Law perspective (Khaliq). These and other scholars have produced a rich blend of published work which has done much to ensure that the Social Charter is a living instrument reflecting timeless values, and not simply a ‘manifestation’ of or a monument to Keynesian economics and Cold War politics. It is a matter of great regret that the inspiring example of this scholarship has not been matched by the commitment of decision-makers, particularly at a time when –primarily because of the consequences of economic liberalism –the need for the Foreign Secretary’s ‘manifestation’ to be realized in practice has never been more acute.”

Pour prendre connaissance de l’article complet: https://doi.org/10.46661/lexsocial.7367

 

François Vandamme
Membre du Comité juridique d’ATD Quart Monde Belgique

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