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Labour rights in the European convention on human rights: An intellectual justification for an integrated approach to interpretation

Mantouvalou, V; (2013) Labour rights in the European convention on human rights: An intellectual justification for an integrated approach to interpretation. Human Rights Law Review , 13 (3) 529 - 555. 10.1093/hrlr/ngt001.

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Abstract

Labour rights have been neglected in human rights law. Classified usually as social rights, they have been excluded from key human rights conventions. Recently, the European Court of Human Rights has developed a technique, known as an 'integrated approach to interpretation', because it integrates social and labour rights in the European Convention on Human Rights. The first part of this article presents case law and debates on the adoption of this technique, and also discusses the example of Canada, where similar developments are taking place. It finds controversy in literature, and uncertainty in judicial decision-making. The second part, therefore, develops a normative justification for the integrated approach in interpreting labour rights. This is based on freedom, a key value underlying civil and political rights. Negative accounts of freedom are inadequate, though, for reasons that the article explains. Instead, it analyses positive freedom in light of the theory of capabilities, which leads to the collapse of sharp divisions between groups of rights. A positive account of freedom as capability requires the protection of labour rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, and leads to the development of important principles on human rights at work. © The Author [2013]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Type:Article
Title:Labour rights in the European convention on human rights: An intellectual justification for an integrated approach to interpretation
DOI:10.1093/hrlr/ngt001
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws

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