European Convention on Human Rights was designed as an international instrument for protection of political and civil rights, while social and economic rights were purposely left out of its scope. The recognition of the absence of water-tight wall between two sets of rights – political/civil and social/economic – by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was one of the main achievements in the evolution of the European system of human rights protection. The acceptance – though incomplete and conditional – of this category of rights under pprotective umbrella of the ECtHR allowed the Court to expand protection upon certain economic and social rights which have not been explicitly indicated in the Convention. This article examines the possible philosophical justification of the integration of these rights into the Convention and sets out the analysis of the mechanism of integration of the new socio-economic rights, illustrated by the examples of the broad interpretation of the rights for freedom of association (Article 11) and the right to property (Article 1 of the Protocol 1 to ECHR). The paper sets out a more detailed analysis of social rights, integrated into the ECtHR as a result of broad interpretation of Articles 3 and 8. Assessing the level of protection of the “integrated” rights the author contends that in spite of the integration of many social rights as a result of the recognition of the indivisibility of human rights, protection of these rights is significantly lower than the level of protection of traditional civil and political rights. This disparity might be explained by referring to the broader margin of appreciation granted to the states in the field of implementation of social policies.
About the author
Elena Sychenko – Ph.D. (University of Catania, Italy), Senior Lecturer at the State Institute of Economics, Finance, Law and Technology (Gatchina, Leningrad region)
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