The Recognition of Legal Persons in International Human Rights Instruments: Protection Against and Through Criminal Justice?

  • Piet Hein van KempenEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 9)


Private non-natural persons (such as companies) and even public legal entities (such as municipalities) are increasingly being recognized as subjects of criminal liability. Therefore, this contribution deals with three issues. First, can legal entities find protection under international fundamental human rights treaties (ICCPR, ECHR, ACHR, AfChHPR) when criminal law and criminal procedure are applied against them? Second, is it possible for individual stakeholders in these entities to invoke human rights protection, when the violation is in fact directed against the organization in which they have an interest? Yet, human rights are not just relevant as protections for legal persons: there is a growing awareness that they are responsible for human rights violations. So, third: do international human rights obligations require states to provide for the possibility that juristic entities may be held criminally responsible for such violations?


Legal Person Natural Person Legal Entity Criminal Liability Fair Trial 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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