CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

CYIL 11 (2020) THE BUSINESS ENTITIES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION… and UDHR will be highlighted. There is no need to discuss the fact that the UDHR is a worldwide instrument, the action of which covers all persons living in the territories of approximately 200 states worldwide while the applicability of the ECHR is limited to the population of only 47 CoE member states. The comparison of the legal standing of businesses under the ECHR and UDHR may be summarised in the table below: ECHR UDHR 1. Nature of the document Hard law – binding international treaty Soft law – non-binding 2. Complaint procedure for businesses Applications from companies are permissible under Article 34 of the ECHR No complaint procedure under the UDHR

The ECtHR recognised the human rights of businesses, e.g. under Articles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 of the ECHR, and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the ECHR Under Article 1 of the ECHR, only states are directly liable for human rights violations, but in view of the states’ positive obligations we may speak about indirect duties for businesses to respect human rights enshrined in therein Currently, there is no reference to the UNGPs in the case-law of the ECtHR. Certain ideas on the subject could be derived from the case of Cordella and Others v. Italy of 24 January 2019 The CoE mechanism is under crisis given the unwillingness of Russia and Turkey to contribute to its budget. Moreover, the UK threats to leave the CoE as well The CDDH has elaborated the Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)3 on Human Rights and Business adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 March 2016. In June 2017 High Level Seminar on Business and Human Rights took place in Strasbourg. No binding treaty on the subject was proposed up to the date

In the context of the IBHR, the submissions from businesses under the ICCPR and ICSECR are inadmissible ratione personae - for lack of standing The UNGPs set forth a direct obligation of businesses to respect human rights

3. Rights of business entities

4. Duties of business entities

as envisaged in the IBHR, specifically in the UDHR

The Human Rights Committee in 2017 in the case of Basem Ahmed Issa Yassin referred to the UNGPs and the idea of corporate responsibility The long-term discussions concern the establishment of the International Court of Human Rights, which would make the UDHR provisions enforceable In July 2018 Ecuador proposed to the UN member states a ‘Zero draft’ of the international treaty titled Legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises

5. Case-law on corporate responsibility

6. Future of the mechanism

7. Future of the Business and Human Rights issue at the CoE and the UN level


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