CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

ALLA TYMOFEYEVA CYIL 11 (2020) desire to strengthen the United Nations Organisation, 8 to be precise, the ECHR placed into effect the UDHR human rights principles at the European level. Both documents, the ECHR and the UDHR, have many common provisions such as the right to life, liberty and security of person, prohibition of slavery, and the absence of discrimination. Many of the principles enshrined in the ECHR and the UDHR have contributed and continue to contribute to the creation of a stable and rule-based society, which is essential for the smooth functioning of business. The correlation of business and human rights can be seen as one of the most significant changes in the human rights debate presently. 9 As corporations become stronger players in the international society and more often we hear the opinion that in order to become the subjects of international law, they are expected to be able not only to hold certain rights, but also to bear corresponding duties based on the provisions of international documents. This new trend of discussing the link between business and human rights has evolved from a debate on human rights for businesses expressed in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). 10 Business enterprises should be under an obligation to respect human rights as corporations are often richer and stronger than states. Their power must be combined with a responsibility to adhere to human rights. Given this, the paper will address the following three points. First, the paper will elaborate on the position of business entities in the practice of the ECtHR. Second, it will focus on the legal standing of businesses from the perspective of the UDHR. Third, the comparison of the position of businesses under both these human rights documents will be accomplished. 1. Business entities in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights The text of the European Convention on Human Rights itself does not contain a reference to the term “business entity” or its synonyms. However, the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights indicates that the applicants under Article 34 of the ECHR may also be business enterprises. They are called “non-governmental organisations” for the purposes of this provision. 11 The research made by the author on the subject 12 confirms that business entities possess a wide range of rights set forth in the ECHR and the Protocols thereto, beginning with the right to a fair trial (Article 6), 13 through the prohibition of discrimination (Article 14), 14 and ending up with the right not to be tried or punished twice (Article 4 of Protocol No. 7). 15 8 Winston Churchill, speech delivered at the University of Zurich, 19 September 1946. URL: < CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=09000016806981f3> [visited on 17 May 2020]. 9 Business and Human Rights: A Progress Report. URL: [visited on 17 May 2020]. 10 The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights , Human Rights Council, resolution no. 17/4 of 16 June 2011. 11 TYMOFEYEVA, Alla. Non-governmental organisations under the European Convention on Human Rights: exceptional legal standing . Prague; Passau: Berlin: rw&w Science & New Media, 2015. ISBN 978-3-9816855-9-6, p. 59. 12 TYMOFEYEVA, Alla. From the Rights to the Duties of Business Entities under the European Convention on Human Rights. In Russian Journal of Comparative Law , 2018, 5(1), pp. 50 -68. 13 See e.g. Saarekallas OÜ v. Estonia (App. No. 11548/04), ECtHR, Judgment of 8 November 2007, para. 52. 14 Sovtransavto Holding v. Ukraine (App. No. 48553/99), ECtHR, Judgment of 25 July 2002, para. 101. 15 Grande Stevens and Others v. Italy (App. Nos. 18640/10 and 4 others), ECtHR, Judgment of 4 March 2014, para. 228.


Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker