Protecting Socio-Economic Rights Through the European Convention on Human Rights: Trends and Developments in the European Court of Human Rights
29 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010
Date Written: December 15, 2009
This article is concerned with jurisprudential trends and developments in the protection of socio-economic rights through the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It focuses on the potential to gain access to health care and welfare services, and the financial means to acquire them, through the development of positive obligations in ECHR rights. It demonstrates that, under Articles 3 and 8 ECHR, there has been progress towards a principled jurisprudence of positive obligations to provide for the basic human needs of vulnerable dependent individuals in a range of contexts, although the limits of state responsibility remain fluid and contested. Secondly, it argues that, in the light of differences between national policies and administrative procedures for the fair distribution of public resources, the incremental approach to the protection of socio-economic rights through the interpretation of Articles 6 and 14 ECHR remains problematic. Nevertheless, it is suggested that recent developments in Article 14 jurisprudence, particularly as demonstrated in the case of D.H. v. Czech Republic, signal a shift from a narrow formalistic approach to dealing with issues of discrimination to one that may be more capable of addressing systemic inequalities in the distribution of social provisions to vulnerable individuals and marginalised groups.
Keywords: Human Rights, Economic Social Cultural Rights, Justiciability
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation