Corporate Human Rights?
European Journal of International Law, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020
Date Written: October 8, 2020
Do corporations have human rights? This article addresses a to date rather understudied issue of the corporations and human rights debate: whether and to what extent corporations can be bearers of human rights, with a focus on the ECHR and ECtHR jurisprudence. In a nutshell, it argues that what subsequently will be called ‘the individualistic approach’, i.e. purporting that the corporate form itself cannot be bearer of human rights, counter-intuitively, leads to almost unfettered human rights entitlements of corporations. Thereby, this piece provides a critique of both established corporate law thinking as well as the dominant view in human rights scholarship. Instead, it is submitted that taking the corporate form seriously and granting it some entitlements to some extent under a functionalist theory emerges as the preferable approach – theoretically, doctrinally and practically. The article draws on ECtHR jurisprudence, general legal as well as corporate law theory and on comparative constitutional law in order to corroborate its argument.
Keywords: Corporations, Human Rights, Legal Theory, Corporate Law, ECHR, Comparative Constitutional Law
JEL Classification: K00; K22; K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation