Of Austerity, Human Rights and International Institutions

30 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2015

See all articles by Margot E. Salomon

Margot E. Salomon

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for the Study of Human Rights; London School of Economics - Law Department

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Date Written: March 25, 2015


Austerity measures in many European countries have led to the violation of social rights and widespread socio-economic malaise. In the case of countries subjected to conditionality imposed by external institutions for the receipt of loans, the resultant harms have highlighted responsibility gaps across a range of international institutions. Two recent legal developments come together to expose these gaps: Greece’s argument in a series of cases under the European Social Charter that it was not responsible for the impact on the right to social security brought about by austerity measures since it was only giving effect to its other international obligations as agreed with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (the Troika), and the concern to emerge from the Pringle case before the European Court of Justice that European Union institutions could do outside of the EU that which they could not do within the EU – disregard the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the exercise of their tasks. That the Commission and ECB were in time answerable to international organisations set up to provide financial support adds an additional layer of responsibility to consider. Taking Greece as a case study and drawing on EU law, international human rights law, and the law on the international responsibility of states and of international organisations, this article looks to what we can expect in legal terms and as a matter of contemporary societal expectation when it comes to having international institutions respect human rights.

Suggested Citation

Salomon, Margot E., Of Austerity, Human Rights and International Institutions (March 25, 2015). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 2/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2551428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2551428

Margot E. Salomon (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for the Study of Human Rights ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/law/staff/margot-salomon.htm

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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