Notes on Some Aspects of the Taxonomy of 'Generations' of Rights

9 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2016 Last revised: 13 Dec 2016

Date Written: July 8, 2016

Abstract

This brief Essay examines the relationship between so-called first, second, and third generation rights. It is often thought that second and third generation rights supplement and deepen the commitments to human flourishing that underlie first generation rights. The Essay argues that the generations of rights have rather different conceptual underpinnings and that there may be serious conflicts among particular realizations of first, second, and third generation rights. An optimization strategy of the sort suggested by Robert Alexy, suitably adapted, might provide some ad hoc solutions, but it may be that the generations of rights ultimately are irreconcilable (in the large, though of course not in many particular instances).

Keywords: Constitutional Rights, Socio-Economic Rights, Cultural Rights

Suggested Citation

Tushnet, Mark V., Notes on Some Aspects of the Taxonomy of 'Generations' of Rights (July 8, 2016). Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 16-46, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2807239 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2807239

Mark V. Tushnet (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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