Legal Cosmopolitanism and the Normative Contribution of the Right to Development
Margot E. Salomon
London School of Economics and Political Science - Centre for the Study of Human Rights/Law Department
September 23, 2008
LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 16/2008
This essay unpacks the normative potential of the right to development in addressing contemporary disparities of the international political economy. Among the significant elements provided for in the UN Declaration on the Right to Development (1986) is its 'responsibilities approach': rather than establishing a new substantive right its provisions advance a system of international duties that might give better effect to existing socio-economic rights. It challenges the classical reading of international human rights law that assigns merely secondary responsibility to developed states in fulfilling human rights elsewhere, in its place affirming a principle of complementary or shared human rights responsibility with developing states. While the Declaration articulates some unconventional demands for a human rights instrument the ways in which it frames the nature and scope of human rights duties is fitting under current conditions of economic globalisation. It is concerned with structural disadvantage that engenders the poverty afflicting half the global population today, and is preoccupied not with a state's duties to its own nationals, but with its duties to people in far off places. As is argued herein, this legal cosmopolitanism is critical to the realisation of human rights in the 21st century.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Date posted: October 6, 2008