The Limitations of a Human Rights Approach to Corruption

International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Forthcoming

39 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Cecily Rose

Cecily Rose

Leiden University - Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

Date Written: January 26, 2016

Abstract

International human rights law may serve as a language through which lawyers and others describe the harms resulting from corruption, but this approach has significant limitations as a legal framework. Despite a growing emphasis among scholars and practitioners on a human rights approach to the problem of corruption, this body of law does not provide a strong basis for addressing such conduct. International human rights treaties make no mention of corruption, and human rights treaty bodies have not brought conceptual clarity to the question of how corruption violates or undermines human rights. Given that human rights law binds States alone, it is also ill-suited to a phenomenon that typically occurs at the intersection of the public and private sectors. Even as a language for describing how corruption harms social and economic rights, human rights law has its limitations, some of which come into relief when compared with the field of development economics.

Keywords: human rights; bribery; embezzlement; non-State actors; development economics

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Rose, Cecily, The Limitations of a Human Rights Approach to Corruption (January 26, 2016). International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2722408

Cecily Rose (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies ( email )

Leiden University Law Faculty
P.O. Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

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