Proportionality and the Human Rights of Companies Under the ECHR – Whose Interests are at Stake?

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Eduardo Gill-Pedro , Assistant Professor of EU law, Faculty of Law, Lund University, Lund, Sweden,

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This article considers whose interests may be at stake when a company claims its human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (echr). In order to do that, the article will first investigate whether it makes sense to conceive of companies as persons capable of having their own interests. It finds that it is possible to do so. The article proceeds to analyse the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in respect of claims regarding their companies’ right to property, free expression and respect for home, considering whether, when the Court assesses the proportionality of the alleged interference, it is the interests of the company claiming the rights that are at stake. The article concludes it is possible to understand the case law of the court as not necessarily placing the interests of the company in the balance when assessing the proportionality of interferences with the Convention rights of companies. The article suggests that such an understanding is normatively desirable if we consider human rights as instruments for the protection of human beings.

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