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Personal Identity Definitions

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Chapter Summary

In the Courts jurisprudence, the broadness of the concept of private life in Article 8 encompasses physical and social identity. Whilst sometimes the Court uses the term interchangeably with personal autonomy or sees personal autonomy as a sub-category of personal identity, philosophically the phrases differ. This chapter presents the definitions of personal identity. It explains how personal identity links to human rights law. The conceptions of personal autonomy, identity and integrity specifically referred to in the ECtHRs jurisprudence, as emanating from a human right to respect ones private life, overlap and interconnect with each other and into the overarching idea of personal freedom. Yet becoming a free person has taken scholars in different directions. The author labels these for the sake of clarity as self-determination and self-realisation. However, the labeling used varies amongst commentators and is often used inconsistently.

Keywords: ECtHR; human rights law; personal freedom; personal identity; self-determination; self-realisation



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