The Receptor Approach: A New Human Rights Kid on the Block or Old Wine in New Bags? A Commentary on Professor Zwart's Article in HRQ

Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 36, August 2014, Forthcoming

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-64

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-25

15 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2013

See all articles by Yvonne Donders

Yvonne Donders

Amsterdam Center for International Law

Vincent Vleugel

Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

In his article in the HRQ (Vol. 34, No. 2, May 2012, p. 546-569), "Using Local Culture to Further the Implementation of International Human Rights: The Receptor Approach", Professor Tom Zwart introduces what he calls an alternative view on the implementation of international human rights, the receptor approach. This approach assumes that "especially in Eastern and Southern states, international human rights obligations can be implemented more fully through local social institutions." The receptor approach could thereby "…foster the cultural legitimacy of international human rights standards." Zwart’s article and introduction of the receptor approach are a welcome and remarkable contribution to the on-going discussion on the implementation of international human rights standards and the role of cultural communities and institutions in this regard. However, the present authors are not convinced of the usefulness of and need for the receptor approach. In our view, the receptor approach does not add much new to the existing international human rights framework and that where there may be interesting entry points, Zwart’s argumentation is not always clear.

Keywords: human rights, international human rights law, international law, cultural rights, cultural relativism, universalism, cultural diversity, receptor approach

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Donders, Yvonne and Vleugel, Vincent, The Receptor Approach: A New Human Rights Kid on the Block or Old Wine in New Bags? A Commentary on Professor Zwart's Article in HRQ (November 1, 2013). Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 36, August 2014, Forthcoming, Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-64, Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2348660

Yvonne Donders (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/y.m.donders/

Vincent Vleugel

Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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