The Universality of Rights
Indian Journal of Constitutional Law, 2009
25 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2009
Date Written: August 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.
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