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The Action of Legal Persons in the European System of Human Rights Protection – Collective or Individual Interest?

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AbstractHuman Rights are accustomed to being linked to individual interests, i.e. to defend the rights of individuals. But the development of their international protection has led to emphasizing new realities. With the globalization of law, the globalization of the subjects of international law has also appeared. If States gradually act collectively thanks to international organizations, individuals seem to follow the same path in forming collective entities named legal persons, which are entitled to rights. The main problem of this situation is defending these rights in front of international courts and, in particular, in front of the European Court of Human Rights. Representing a community leads to defending a collective interest, however, it is not easy to distinguish between the rights of the legal person itself and the rights of the collectivity the legal person is representing. Despite the fiction of the legal person, these entities seem to be collective claimants and consequently to defend a collective interest. Can we conclude that the actions of legal persons before European bodies of Human Rights protection are actions with a collective aim? Indeed this situation implies needing to define which entity retains cited rights and which interest is being defended, that of the individual or that of a collectivity of individuals? This article looks for some answers in the case law of the European Court, which can be considered unequivocal in the light of the case law of other jurisdictions.

Affiliations: 1: University of Nanterre Paris Ouest la Défense – Centre of International Law of Nanterre (CEDIN)

10.1163/15718034-12341267
/content/journals/10.1163/15718034-12341267
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/content/journals/10.1163/15718034-12341267
2013-01-01
2017-12-13

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