The Universality of Rights
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law
Indian Journal of Constitutional Law, 2009
Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 28/2009
This essay argues that the universality claim is a claim concerning two different domains: first, the domain of the political and, second, the domain of foreign policy. The domain of the political gives us a theory of political rights as we find them in Rawls' Political Liberalism. The domain of foreign policy gives us a theory of human rights as we find them in Rawls' Law of Peoples. Both are distinct from a third domain, that of the moral relations of persons, where rights also are seen to have a bearing. We have therefore political rights, human rights, and moral rights. Only the first two enjoy universality. The distinction between the moral, the political and the international domains is crucial to the success of the claim to universality.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Date posted: September 24, 2009