A Study of the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights on poverty. Conceptualization, the Human Rights Approach, and Case Analysis

40 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2024 Last revised: 20 Mar 2024

Date Written: February 27, 2024

Abstract

Poverty continues being a recalcitrant problem in the world, regardless which kind of degree or severity of deprivation. Since the period after the Second World War, concretely since 1960s and 1970s, global poverty became a main issue in social justice studies. This was due to a number of political and economic circumstances (in particular the global political situation), the rise of theory of needs as a way of identifying and measuring poverty and, lastly, the relevance of the discourse of human rights. So far, both the theory of needs and the human rights approach have been decisive in addressing and coping with different situations of poverty, but especially in recent years, legal praxis has gained much visibility in this context. For this reason, this paper asks how the European human rights system deals with poverty, given its peculiarities and mechanisms, through the work of the main entity responsible for the protection and guarantee of human rights: the European Court of Human Rights. Indeed, the Court is no stranger to the issue of poverty and has analysed and addressed situations of impoverishment from its own human rights perspective. The paper will present an analysis of the Court’s jurisprudence in order to explore the potential and limitations of its role with respect to the poverty situations. Finally, the paper will propose some ideas and criteria with the sole aim of trying to improve the future work of the Court in addressing poverty.

Keywords: poverty, human rights, European Court of Human Rights, social justice

Suggested Citation

Merayo Fernández, Rodrigo, A Study of the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights on poverty. Conceptualization, the Human Rights Approach, and Case Analysis (February 27, 2024). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2024-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4740913

Rodrigo Merayo Fernández (Contact Author)

Charles III University of Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

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