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The Legal Protection of Human RightsSceptical Essays$
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Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing, and Adam Tomkins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606078.001.0001

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Business Rights as Human Rights

Business Rights as Human Rights

(p.229) 11 Business Rights as Human Rights
The Legal Protection of Human Rights

Danny Nicol

Oxford University Press

There is no compelling basis on which business rights can be disentangled from classic political human rights. Free trade and competition may not be labelled as human rights but they have the same fundamental status. The supra-nationality of the European Community Treaty, The World Trade Organization Agreements, and the North American Free Trade Agreement establish a supra-national constitution entrenching free trade in the private sector and increasingly in the public sector as well, e.g., private sector dominance in service industries, the exclusion of social rights, and nationalization. As this stands it means that we must be neo-liberal, that is beyond deliberation, which in effect makes neo-liberalism a human right, entrenching a particular view of ‘what is owed to each of us as human’. Most ‘fundamental’ UK rights are the European Union's ‘four freedoms’ which exemplifies the fact that business has captures the language of rights to curtail the powers of government in the interests of business elites.

Keywords:   business rights, competition rights, corporate property, World Trade Organization, European Union

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