ARTICLE: TRADE UNION RIGHTS UNDER ARTICLE 11 OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1982 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal

ARTICLE: TRADE UNION RIGHTS UNDER ARTICLE 11 OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Spring, 1982

5 Comp. Lab. L. 149

Author

Paul Hoffman *

Excerpt

I. Introduction

The right to form and to join trade unions has been universally recognized as a fundamental human right. 1 In Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the member states of the Council of Europe have recognized the right to form and to join trade unions as an integral aspect of the broader "right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association." 2 Although the basic right to form and to join trade unions is clearly established in Europe, the precise contours of this right under Article 11 of the European Convention are less certain. 3 This article is concerned with the initial efforts of the European Court of Human Rights ("Court") to define the scope of basic trade union rights under the European Convention. 4 The article will survey the cases decided by the court concerning trade union rights and will set forth tentative conclusions about the potential role of the Convention in protecting these rights.

For nearly two decades the Court had no occasion to consider the content of trade union rights under Article 11. It was not until the National Union of Belgian Police Case, decided in 1975, that the Court rendered a decision involving trade union rights. To date, there have been only four cases which have raised the issue of the scope of trade union rights under Article 11 of the Convention. In general, the Court has allowed the Contracting States a wide "margin of appreciation ...
 
 
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