Personal Freedom through Human Rights Law?: Autonomy, Identity and Integrity under the European Convention on Human Rights

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Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to respect for one's private life. The European Court of Human Rights has interpreted this provision broadly to include a right to personal autonomy, identity and integrity. The book examines case law from the Court and interconnects this with philosophical debates surrounding these concepts, including those in feminism, in four parts: (1) personal freedom and human rights law (2) privacy and personal autonomy (3) personal identity (4) bodily and moral integrity. The author notes, through her analysis of the Court's case law, that different versions of freedom are evident in the jurisprudence, including one which may restrict human freedom rather than enhance in through human rights law. This book will be invaluable to scholars of the Court, human rights and issues of the self.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jill Marshall Ph.D. (2003) in Law, University of London, is a lecturer in law at Queen Mary, University of London. She has published in the area of feminist jurisprudence and human rights including Humanity, Freedom and Feminism (Ashgate 2005).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Chapter 1 Introduction to the book 1

Part I Human Rights and Freedom

Chapter 2 Personal Freedom and Human Rights Law 13

Introduction 13

Different Conceptions of Freedom 15

Human Rights 20

Human Dignity and Human Rights 23

International Human Rights Legal Protection of a Right to Personhood? 30

Conclusions 32

Chapter 3 The European Convention on Human Rights and Personhood 33

Introduction 33

Interpretative Principles 36

Proportionality and Balancing 38

Margin of Appreciation 42

Positive Obligations 44

Conclusions 46

Part II Privacy and Personal Autonomy at the European Court of Human Rights

Chapter 4 From Privacy to Personal Autonomy 49

Introduction 49

Definitions of Privacy 50

Privacy and the ECHR: An Introduction 54

Personal Autonomy and Critiques 57

Conclusions 67

Chapter 5 The ECtHR's Development of Respect for Private Life into a Real Right to Personal Autonomy 69

Introduction 69

Relationships with Other Human Beings 71

Surveillance 75

Relationships with the “Outside World” 80

Conclusions 85

Part III Personal Identity and the European Court of Human Rights

Chapter 6 Personal Identity Definitions 89

Introduction 89

Personal Identity 89

Self-Determination and Self-Realisation 96

Conclusions 100

Chapter 7 Sexual Identity 103

Introduction 103

Homosexuality 104

Group Homosexual Sex 110

Family Matters 115

The Military 116

Transsexualism 119

Conclusions 122

Chapter 8 Identity and Access to Information Important to One's Identity 123

Introduction 123

Access to Information about One's Childhood 124

Access to Information about One's Origins 126

Essence and Existence 133

Conclusions 138

Chapter 9 Religious Identity 139

Introduction 139

The Islamic Headscarf Cases at the ECtHR 142

Gender Equality, Identity and Choices 150

Religious Symbols and Identity 158

Conclusions 160

Part IV Personal Integrity

Chapter 10 Bodily and Moral Integrity Rights 165

Introduction 165

Unwanted Intrusions 168

Physical Abuse 170

Treatment of the Disabled 178

Medical Interventions 181

Mental Health 184

Pregnancy, Abortion, Giving Birth and Parenthood 185

Dying 197

Conclusions 201

Chapter 11 Conclusion to the book 203

Bibliography 207

Index 231

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