Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law
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Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law

Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar

Inquisitive and diverse, this innovative Research Handbook explores the ways in which human rights apply to people at work, through national constitutional provisions, judicial decisions and the application of rights expressed in supranational instruments. Key topics include evaluation of the role of the ILO in developing and promoting internationally recognized labour rights, and the examination of the meaning of the obligation of business to respect human rights, considering the evolution from international soft law to incorporation in codes of conduct and the emerging requirement of due diligence.
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Chapter 17: The European Convention on Human Rights as a fountain of labour rights

Filip Dorssemont


This chapter seeks to conceptualize the notion of fundamental labour rights at work. This notion has the potential to cover human rights which are relevant in the sphere of employment and occupation, irrespective of the nature of these rights as well of the question whether the holder is a worker or not. The chapter assesses the growing importance of the European Convention on Human Rights as a fountain of fundamental labour rights. It is argued that the canon of intertextual interpretation which was put forward by the Grand Chamber of the ECHR in the landmark case Demir and Baykara has been a catalyst for a progressive interpretation of the ECHR as a living instrument of fundamental labour rights. Furthermore, some important obstacles or thresholds will be studied which might hamper a recourse to the ECHR. Since restrictions to convention rights need to be prescribed by law, the chapter analyses which labour law resources could be a source of such restrictions. Last but not least, the author assesses the added value of the ECHR for the protection fundamental labour rights in comparison to other instruments.

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