European journal of social security vol:9 issue:3 pages:221-242
For more than twenty years now, the European Convention on Human Rights has been used to solve disputes in social security. This is peculiar since the Convention itself and its Protocols primarily comprise civil and political rights and do not include a right to social security. This article analyses the supervisory bodies’ case law to establish how national disputes over contributions or cash-benefits under statutory social insurance and social assistance scheme have attracted the protection of the Convention. It also provides an overview of the types of social security cases which today fall within the ambit of particular rights guaranteed by the Convention. It concludes that the right to a fair trial (Article 6(1)) and the protection of property (Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention) are, as a general rule, applicable in the field of social security. By contrast, the protection of family life and the protection of private life (Article 8) have, in social security matters only, only been accepted as applicable in the context of particular branches of social security or in relation to particular groups of beneficiaries.