Protection of human rights stricto sensu by the courts of integration associations: experience of comparative analysis

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Authors: Anatoliy Kovler, Yana Lebedeva

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2022-4-36-50

Keywords: integration law; human rights; ECHR; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; Court of Justice of the European Union; ECtHR; MERCOSUR; European Union; Africa


The relevance of this article is due to the growing potential of economic integration organizations, whose competence has gradually grown far beyond pure economic issues, to address the problem of protecting fundamental rights. The reason for the need to develop the panoply of human rights by integration associations is that market freedoms cannot be realized where citizens and entrepreneurs do not feel protected. Therefore there is a need to ensure security and legality within the area covered by an organization of economic integration. The Eurasian Economic Union, whose founding treaty was signed in 2014, is only at the beginning of this path. The realization of its competence in this direction would not only fulfill the potential of this integration project, but also fill the gap formed after the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the European system of human rights protection. It should be noted that the protection of fundamental rights is much more effectively achieved by integration associations than by intergovernmental cooperation, which is based on the promotion of respect for human rights without any real tools for their protection. The methodology adopted by classic international organizations is called the “discursive method” in this article, since within such organizations human rights are often perceived only as an occasion for didactic discourse. At the same time, in many economic integration organizations there is a court which often plays a significant role in integration building and carries out an evolutionary (and sometimes creative) interpretation of the organization’s law. The scope of this study is deliberately limited to the protection, by courts of integration associations, of human rights stricto sensu, i.e., the protection of those rights that do not directly follow from the integration associations’ founding agreements and are not economic in nature. These rights come to be an organic continuation of the founding agreements and other acts of organization while simultaneously following their own development trajectory.

About the authors: Anatoliy Kovler – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor, Head of the Department of Investigative and Legal Research, Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law, Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, State Counselor of Justice 1st Class, Honored Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia; Yana Lebedeva – Junior Researcher, Department of Comparative Legal Studies, Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Kovler A., Lebedeva Ya. (2022) Zashchita prav cheloveka stricto sensu sudami integratsionnykh ob’edineniy: opyt sravnitel’nogo analiza [Protection of human rights stricto sensu by courts of integration associations: experience of comparative analysis]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 36–50 (In Russian).


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