Reconceiving Rights as Relationship
Review of Constitutional Studies / Revue d’études constitutionnelles, Volume 1, Issue 1 (1993)
27 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2012
Date Written: 1993
The author proposes a new understanding of rights as relationship and constitutionalism as a dialogue of democratic accountability. She takes the position that all rights and the concept of rights should be viewed in terms of relationship and that this view provides a better way of resolving rights problems. It is suggested that the focus of decisions regarding rights should be on the kind of relationship we want to foster and the different concepts and institutions that will contribute to that end. In the proposed model, protected rights would be derived from inquiries into what is necessary to create the relationships needed for a free and democratic society. Using this framework, the author argues against constitutionalizing property and concludes by discussing the Alternative Social Charter as an outline of a model of constitutionalism for democratic accountability.
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