Core rights and the protection of socio-economic interests by the European Court of Human Rights
The ECtHR needs to provide effective rights protection, but it also needs to set clear standards while showing deference to decisions made at the national level. Especially when socio-economic issues are concerned, meeting these different demands is a challenging task.
- Ingrid Leijten
- 02 September 2015
- Leiden University Repository
The thesis explores the possible use and added value of the notion of ‘core rights’ for the reasoning of the ECtHR in socio-economic cases. By means of a comparative study of the German Wesensgehaltsgarantie, the minimum core obligations related to the ICESCR, and the debate on the use of core rights for the protection of socio-economic rights under the South African Constitution, insights are gained on the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in this idea. On the basis thereof, a ‘core rights perspective’ is outlined that is tailored to the protection of socio-economic interests by the ECtHR. It is argued that this perspective allows the ECtHR to develop a principled approach to (positive) socio-economic claims that is characterised by a clear demarcation of the scope of the Convention and a focus on minimum guarantees. In this way the core rights perspective may help the ECtHR in leaving the necessary room for national laws and policies while ensuring robust socio-economic protection.