Protecting property properly - Capabilitarian contributions to the human right to property
PhD student: Mrs E.E. Vermeulen
Promotor: Prof A.F. Salomons
Duration: 1/3/2019 - 28/2/2023
This PhD project will be dedicated to the search for a just and meaningful content of the human right to property as laid down in Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention of Human Rights (1FP; human right to property. It aims to assess what content 1FP should be given from the perspective of a capability theory and how the existing legal interpretation of this right should be evaluated from this perspective, as well as it aims to find ways to incorporate the implications of a capabilitarian vision on the human right to property in existing legal practice. The human right to property will be reviewed through the lens of a capability theory that is appointing the capability to hold property as a basic capability, that is, a capability that every human being should have. Proposing adjustments to the purpose and content of the human right to property on new terms is relevant on two levels. First, the human right to property lacks a clear and coherent justification, and recently the idea of a human right to property and how it is enshrined in law has been subject to scrutiny by political philosophers and legal theorists. Rethinking the human right to property thus has two important and correlated functions: Designing justifiable contents of the right itself, and thereby justifying the existence of a human right to property in general. Besides justifying the human right to property, this study also aims to actually make contributions. Therefore it is needed to compare the normative results with legal practice - first to see whether these ideas are already represented in case law, but also to find openings or ways to legalize the normative outcomes of the justification.