CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

CYIL 11 (2020) THE BUSINESS ENTITIES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION… thought and religion, 47 freedom of expression, 48 freedom of assembly and association, 49 right to an effective remedy, 50 prohibition of discrimination, 51 right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions, 52 right to free elections, 53 right of appeal in criminal matters, 54 right to compensation for wrongful conviction, 55 and right not to be tried or punished twice. 56 The suggested list is not exhaustive. The case-law of the ECtHR continues to develop as further interpretations of the provisions of the ECHR reflects new viewpoints relating to the rights of corporations. 4. With respect to the duties of business entities, the UDHR is in a more favourable position. The UNGPs, in Principle 12, directly set forth the duty for businesses to respect human rights as envisaged in the International Bill of Human Rights.Therefore, it is absolutely clear that corporations are under an obligation to conduct their activity in compliance with the UDHR standards. There is no reference to the ECHR in the UNGPs, but Article 1 of the ECHR clearly stipulates that the direct human rights obligations under this treaty may be imposed only on the states. Nevertheless, the doctrine of states’ positive obligations permits one deduce that there may exist certain indirect obligations of businesses in respect to human rights as enshrined in the ECHR. An explanation on the subject-matter with examples was provided in the second part of this paper. 5. As to the case-law of the monitoring bodies regarding the corporate responsibility, in the case of Basem Ahmed Issa Yassin of 2017 the authors of the submissions observed: In its statement on the implication of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises has indicated that where transnational corporations are involved in conflict-affected areas, their home States have crucial roles to play in assisting both those corporations and host States to ensure that businesses are not involved with human rights abuse , and that home States as well as host States should review their policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures to ensure that they effectively serve to prevent and address the heightened risk of business involvement in abuses in conflict situations. 57 47 Glas Nadezhda EOOD and Anatoliy Elenkov v. Bulgaria (App. No. 14134/02), ECtHR, Judgment of 11 October 2007, para. 59. 48 OOO Ivpress and Others v. Russia (App. Nos. 33501/04, 38608/04, 35258/05 and 35618/05), ECtHR, Judgment of 22 January 2013, para. 80. 49 Geotech Kancev GmbH v. Germany (App. No. 23646/09), ECtHR, Judgment of 2 June 2016, para. 44. 50 Sylenok and Tekhnoservis-Plus v. Ukraine (App. No. 20988/02), ECtHR, Judgment of 9 December 2010, para. 89 and, Amat-G Ltd and Mebaghishvili v. Georgia (App. No. 2507/03), ECHR, Judgment of 27 September 2005, para. 54. 51 Sovtransavto Holding v. Ukraine (App. No. 48553/99), ECtHR, Judgment of 25 July 2002, para. 101. 52 Centro Europa 7 S.r.l. and Di Stefano v. Italy (App. No. 38433/09), ECtHR, Grand Chamber, Judgment of 7 June 2012, para. 188. 53 TV Vest AS and Rogaland Pensjonistparti v. Norway (App. No. 21132/05), ECtHR, Judgment of 11 December 2008, paras. 44, 61, & 78. 54 Siglfirðingur ehf v. Iceland (friendly settlement) (App. No. 34142/96), ECtHR, Judgment of 30 May 2000, para. 4. 55 Wouterse, Marpa Zeeland B.V. and Metal Welding Service B.V. v. the Netherlands (App. No. 46300/99), ECtHR, Decision of 1 October 2002. Although in the case the ECtHR declared the complaint under Article 3 of Protocol No. 7 inadmissible on the sole grounds that Protocol No. 7 to the ECHR has not been ratified by the Netherlands, there are no grounds to consider that this right is not applicable to business entities. 56 Grande Stevens and Others v. Italy (App. Nos. 18640/10 and 4 others), ECtHR, Judgment of 4 March 2014, para. 228. 57 Basem Ahmed Issa Yassin et. al., CCPR, Decision adopted by the Committee under article 5 (4) of the Optional Protocol, communication No. 2285/2013 of 7 December 2017, para 5.4.


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