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The Principle of Subsidiarity in the European Convention on Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

The principle of subsidiarity implies that in a community it falls, in the first place, on the smaller and lower social units to assume the responsibility for functions of the society. The larger and higher social units should only take over insofar as the smaller units are unable to do so. This chapter briefly sketches the various aspects of the principle, its structure and justification therefore, seen from the point of view of the guarantees and procedures of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is dedicated to Judge Caflisch who, in his judicial activities has consistently emphasised a due margin of appreciation falling to States. The principle of subsidiarity helps balance the need for progress in the Convention's net of human rights, on one hand, with, on the other, the necessary respect for the domain of the national authorities.

Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights; Judge Caflisch; principle of subsidiarity



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