The High Court recently held that contracts and goodwill can be “possessions” which should fall within the umbrella of protection under the European Convention of Human Rights Act.
In the case of Breyer Group Plc and others v Department of Energy and Climate Change, the claimants comprised of a consortium of solar energy companies who took on the Government on the basis that it had reneged on a pledge.
The Government had pledged not to make retrospective changes to the price of electricity that could be earned by those who had installed solar panels on their homes.
Going back on that promise, meant that the claimants were unable to perform their duties under their contracts and were facing significant financial loses.
By relying on Article 1 of the First Protocol of the Convention of Human Rights, the High Court accepted that certain contracts could form ‘a right to property’ – which is protected from interference of the state – and so the court awarded damages in favour of the claimants.
Hence, it’s worth remembering that businesses have human rights!
For more information on this please contact Neil Shanghavi on 0208 840 4688.