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Human Rights and the Limits of Constitutional Theory

Posted: 29 May 2001  

Frank I. Michelman

Harvard Law School


The question of what is truly just in the matter of a country's currently established human-rights interpretations appears not to be the same as the question of what it is morally right to do by way of coercively effectuating a given set of such interpretations. There are grounds for contending that acts of support for a coercive political regime can be justified morally on the condition that the regime's prevailing human-rights interpretations are made continuously available to effective, democratic critical re-examination. However, it is not possible ever finally to know whether that condition is satisfied.

Suggested Citation

Michelman, Frank I., Human Rights and the Limits of Constitutional Theory. Ratio Juris, Vol. 13, Issue 1, March 2000. Available at SSRN:

Frank I. Michelman (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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