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Is there a human right not to be a trade union member?: labour rights under the European Convention on Human Rights

By Virginia Mantouvalou


This paper examines the protection of labour rights in the context of civil and political rights documents and explores the compatibility of closed shop arrangements with human rights law. It contributes to the relevant debates in two ways. First, it seeks to examine how the “integrated approach” to interpretation, a method increasingly preferred by the European Court of Human Rights when examining work-related complaints, affects the regulation of closed shops. Second, it attempts to resolve the apparent tension between individual rights and the collective interests of labour that is commonly articulated in both the case law and the academic literature. The paper suggests that, contrary to a widely held understanding, civil and labour rights share common values. Through the example of closed shops it is argued that the rights of workers and their unions can be enhanced rather than harmed by an effective and principled human rights regime

Topics: JX International law, HD Industries. Land use. Labor, HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Publisher: Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2007
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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