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The Human Rights of CompaniesExploring the Structure of ECHR Protection$
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Marius Emberland

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289837.001.0001

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Companies and the Structure of Convention Protection

Companies and the Structure of Convention Protection

(p.25) 2 Companies and the Structure of Convention Protection
The Human Rights of Companies

Marius Emberland

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores whether corporate human rights protection is in agreement with the basic structures of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protection. It suggests a foundation upon which the European Court of Human Rights's approach to corporate litigation may be analysed and made sense of. This is done firstly by addressing the criticism often seen and heard against the fact that companies and other corporate actors make use of human rights law for the protection of their own interests. The chapter uses illustrations from the ECHR discourse in the United Kingdom and explains further why it is that companies are principally welcomed in the ECHR's legal order, but why they nonetheless tend, on occasion, to be met with a particular type of treatment by the Court. The ECHR builds on a European liberal system which fundamentally welcomes and facilitates private enterprise. The social dimensions of European liberalism and the pervasiveness of the regulated market model may well mean that corporate reliance upon ECHR guarantees may fail if up against certain public interests.

Keywords:   European Court of Human Rights, European Court, human rights, companies, corporate litigation, United Kingdom, protection, liberalism, public interests, private enterprise

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