The States realised that they should start doing more to protect fundamental rights only after the Second World War. This lead to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1948 (Sepulveda et al., 2010). Even though it was adopted as a soft law instrument, it inspired the adoption of the two UN human rights conventions (Sepulveda et al., 2010), several regional human rights instruments, and multiple national bills of rights included in national Constitutions (Sepulveda et al., 2010). 

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The recently adopted Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime (PE-COΝS 121/13) started numerous debates over its legality, mainly because it gave the authorities extended powers in the fight against national and trans-national organised crime. For example, the European Criminal Bar Association considered that the new law could affect the fundamental rights of the European citizens by giving a judge the possibility to issue a confiscating order without previous sentence by the court.

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UK institutions responsible for the reform of corporate law can very well make their own great plans, but in reality the focus and initiative has to be shifted towards Brussels. This essay will discuss the effects of this shift on English company law. For a better understanding, one must first look at the evolution of UK Company Law, then at the European Union’s reforms, the interconnection between the two, and finally at the current and future possible impact of the shift on British company law.

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