Human Rights in the Private Sphere

Human Rights in the Private Sphere

Human Rights in the Private Sphere

Human Rights in the Private Sphere


The application of international human rights law to the private sphere has implications for the worlds of labor relations, race relations, discrimination and violence against women, and for victims of indignities everywhere. This study shows that respect for privacy need not mean excluding wrongs in the private sphere from the world of human rights. Concentrating on the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights, and their enforcement in the courts of the United Kingdom, it develops a coherent approach to human rights in the private sphere. In particular it challenges the presumption that the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights are irrelevant for cases which concern the sphere of relations between individuals.


The third monograph concerned with the subject-matter of human rights to appear in this series is a thesis produced by a British lawyer working at the European University Institute in Florence under the supervision of my old friend Antonio Cassese. Andrew Clapham's substantial study focuses principally upon the relatively neglected area of relations between non- State bodies. This involves the important and yet complex area of putative obligations of the State to ensure or to encourage the observance of human rights standards in the sphere of private relations: for example, racial discrimination practised by clubs and exclusive clauses in wills.

The problems touch upon the fundamental question of identifying the content of human rights standards and the role of the State in enjoining good behaviour. the quality and utility of Dr Clapham's work is enhanced by the sections on the relevance of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Courts of the United Kingdom and the strong comparative element.

All Souls College, ian brownlie

20 July 1993 . . .

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