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The Principle Of Proportionality

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Chapter Summary

The principle of proportionality has roots way back in legal history and is widely used in international law in general as well in the more specific field of international human rights law. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the Courts construction of the proportionality principle; where does proportionality come from, how does the proportionality principle interact with other principles of interpretation, what is the scope of application of the principle, what role does the least onerous means-test play, what about the doctrine of an essence of rights, how about the requirement of suitable measures, and what does it really mean to strike a fair balance between the legally relevant interests at stake? The traditional description of the proportionality principle includes protection of the very essence of the rights of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); fair balance-test; international law; least onerous means-test; principle of suitability; proportionality principle



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