Positivism and Practice Beyond Sovereignty

22 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2017

See all articles by Patrick Macklem

Patrick Macklem

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 14, 2017


This essay is a reply to commentaries on The Sovereignty of Human Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). Three themes inform the commentaries. Each represents a topic that the book engages with in ways challenged or critiqued in some of these essays. The first relates to its enlistment of international legal positivism as a defining feature of what constitutes a human right in international law. The second is the role that practice plays in the account that I offer of the normative mission of human rights in international law – namely, that human rights act as legal instruments that mitigate some of the pathologies associated with how international law organizes global politics into an international legal order. Finally, some of the essays in this issue inquire into the role that human rights play beyond sovereignty – specifically, in relation to non-state actors such as multinational corporations and international economic institutions.

Keywords: International Human Rights, International Law, Sovereignty, Positivism, Practice, Non-State Actors

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Macklem, Patrick, Positivism and Practice Beyond Sovereignty (June 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2986411 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2986411

Patrick Macklem (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
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