CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

CYIL 11 (2020) THE BUSINESS ENTITIES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION… The European Convention on Human Rights was drafted taking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 as its starting point, but with the pursuit of the aims and objectives of the Council of Europe, through the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, firmly in mind. 1 Introduction This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Preparatory Commission of the Council of Europe, which created the famous text of the “Travaux préparatoires” of the ECHR started its work in May 1949. 2 On 4 November 1950, the ECHR was already opened to signature by the member states of the Council of Europe. Initially, on that date in Rome, the document was signed by sixteen states, among which one will also find the Saar, a state protectorate which is now part of the Federal Republic of Germany. 3 According to Article 66 of the first text of the ECHR 4 it had to come into force after the deposit of ten instruments of ratification, which materialised on 3 September 1953. Currently, this treaty contains 47 signatures and ratifications. 5 The team of the UNHuman Rights Commission, 6 led by Eleanora Roosevelt, accomplished its work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. The mission of this commission was to create a text that would serve as a model for how human beings should treat each other. The idea to create such a text was first announced at the first session of the of the General Assembly convened on 10 January 1946, 7 but the opening drafting efforts of the commission began only in 1947. This means that the creation of the two documents under discussion took approximately the same amount of time to complete. The UN Human Rights Commission began its work two years earlier finishing the UDHR in 1948 while the ECHR was completed two years later, in 1950. Given the fact that the UDHR is not a treaty, we will not compare the dates of the two documents coming into force. The opening sentence of the Preamble to the European Convention on Human Rights refers to the UDHR and the need to consider this soft law instrument. Unlike the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ECHR is a binding international treaty. We may presume that it had been developed and presented to the world mostly due to Winston Churchill’s 1 The development of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Open University. URL: [visited on 17 May 2020]. 2 Official Version of the Travaux Préparatoires of the European Convention on Human Rights. URL: [visited on 17 May 2020]. 3 The text of the ECHR as of 4 November 1950. URL: [visited on 17 May 2020]. 4 Currently, Article 59 of the ECHR. 5 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Chart of signatures and ratifications of Treaty 005. URL:< signatures?p_auth=kddL5PAV> [visited on 17 May 2020]. 6 The team was composed of Alexandre Bogomolov (USSR), René Cassin (France), Peng-chun Chang (China), Charles Dukes (United Kingdom), William Hodgson (Australia), John P. Humphrey (Canada), Hernan Santa Cruz (Chile), Charles Malik (Lebanon), and Eleanor Roosevelt (US). 7 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. History of the Document. URL: [visited on 17 May 2020].


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