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Linking – The Human Rights Perspective

Fagerholm, Nina

Opinnäytetyöt , Gradut ja muut tutkielmat


The human rights aspect of linking in the international setting has, to date, not been examined thoroughly. This thesis identifies different human rights involved in the process of linking and examines whether the current international human rights law is capable of incorporating various linking disputes. This thesis focuses on the following human rights: the freedom of expression; the right to respect for private and family life; the protection of property combined with the protection of authors’ rights.
In writing this thesis a legal dogmatic method is applied, combined with a critical, constitutionalist approach. This thesis is a study of the current legal landscape in the field of international human rights law, and of whether – and in what way – this landscape is capable of incorporating linking disputes. This thesis examines the case law of international human rights courts, and in doing so it focuses on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The issue of linking has not yet been dealt with by the ECtHR. Therefore, this thesis analyzes case law from related areas. By examining such case law, conclusions are drawn regarding how hypothetical linking disputes could be solved at the ECtHR. The ECtHR will be faced with these disputes in the near future, and this thesis shows that the line of reasoning applied by the ECtHR in majority decisions in related issues so far will not, if applied to linking, lead to completely satisfying results. However, there are some promising dissenting opinions, which show that the ECtHR is beginning to realize what changes need to be made to the interpretation of certain rights in order to incorporate linking disputes in the future.


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