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Delegation of Governmental Power to Private PartiesA Comparative Perspective$
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Catherine M. Donnelly

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298242.001.0001

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Human Rights Controls on the Delegate

Human Rights Controls on the Delegate

(p.228) 6 Human Rights Controls on the Delegate
Delegation of Governmental Power to Private Parties

Catherine M Donnelly

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the extent to which private delegates are bound by human rights obligations in the three jurisdictions. First, a justification for the extension of human rights obligations to private delegates of governmental power is offered. What is argued for is a ‘new definition of the public sphere’. Second, an overview of the law in all three jurisdictions is presented, considering the US ‘state action’ doctrine; the definition of ‘public authority’ in Section 6(3)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 (including the YL case); and relevant ECJ jurisprudence. Finally, a suitable framework is proposed to hold private delegates liable for human rights violations. It is argued that in the context of private delegation, whether power should be characterized as ‘governmental’ or ‘public’ should depend on its nature, not its holder.

Keywords:   state action, public authority, Meroni, vertical human rights, public function, YL

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