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Personal Autonomy as Institutional Form – Focus on Europe Against the Background of Article 27 of the ICCPR

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image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

For an attempt to establish an institutional content for personal autonomy, it is submitted that the reference to ‘community’ in Article 27 of the CCPR implies a certain form of organization. Persons who belong to minorities shall have the complete freedom to organize themselves in associations of various kinds in order to pursue common aims. The notion of ‘association’ includes, on the top of regular membership associations, a broader spectrum of private law entities, but the main point is that there shall be a freedom for a minority in the creation of non-governmental organizations, leading to personal autonomy as an organizational form. It is hence not necessarily so that all forms of autonomy are created on the basis of special legislation, endowing the autonomous character for the minority institution from top-down. A bottom-up creation of minority institutions can actually involve a right to personal autonomy.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Public Law, Åbo Akademi University, Finland


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