Some Kind of Right

01 Jan 2020

The Right to Be Forgotten II crystallizes one lesson from Europe’s rights revolution: persons should be able to call on some kind of right to protect their important interests whenever those interests are threatened under the law. Which rights instrument should be deployed, and by what court, become secondary concerns. The decision doubtless involves some self-aggrandizement by the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC), which asserts for itself a new role in protecting European fundamental rights, but it is no criticism of the Right to Be Forgotten II to say that it advances the GFCC’s role in European governance, so long as the decision also makes sense in the context of the European and German law. I argue that it does, for a specific reason. The Right to Be Forgotten II represents a sensible approach to managing the complex pluralism of the legal environment in which Germany and other EU member states find themselves.