Legal Persons as Bearers of Rights Under the ECHR


  • Lorenz Dopplinger University of Vienna



Fundamental rights are typically conceived primarily as rights of individual human beings. At the same time, legal persons are recognised regularly as bearers of constitutional rights and even of international human rights. While "corporate personhood" is subject to controversies in some legal systems, in others this issue is in principle undisputed. Against this backdrop, the present article explores if and to what extent the European Convention on Human Rights protects legal persons. It is shown that a legal person can only invoke (certain) Convention rights if it is a "non-governmental organisation". Therefore, the article analyses the criteria used to qualify an entity as either "governmental" or "non-governmental".

Author Biography

Lorenz Dopplinger, University of Vienna

Dr. Lorenz Dopplinger is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law, University of Vienna.