Human Rights Without Foundations
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Columbia University - Law School
Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14/2007
Using the accounts of Gewirth and Griffin as examples, the article criticises accounts of human rights as those are understood in human rights practices, which regard them as rights all human beings have in virtue of their humanity. Instead it suggests that (with Rawls) human rights set the limits to the sovereignty of the state, but criticises Rawls conflation of sovereignty with legitimate authority. The resulting conception takes human rights, like other rights, to be contingent on social conditions, and in particular on the nature of the international system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Jurisprudence, Human Rightsworking papers series
Date posted: July 11, 2007
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