What is the Best Way to Realise Rights?
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 39, Issue 1, Spring 2019, Pages 209–228, doi/10.1093/ojls/gqz004
Posted: 10 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 23, 2019
What is the best way to conceptualise the relation between the common good and rights? Is it courts or legislatures that protect rights most effectively? In their well-written and well-argued book, Legislated Rights: Securing Human Rights through Legislation, Grégoire Webber, Paul Yowell, Richard Ekins, Maris Köpcke, Bradley W Miller and Francisco J Urbina try to respond to these challenging questions. This article discusses critically some of the theses defended in the book. It aims to enhance some of their insights and bring nuances to some others. It suggests that a metaphor that can capture the process towards realising rights is the one of ‘collaboration’ among various government institutions. The right collaboration between the legislature and courts can help uncover the substantive meaning of the ‘general will’ that is so important towards realising rights. Engaging with works such as Legislated Rights allows the reader to form her own reflections on the proper articulations between rights and the common good.
Keywords: Right, Justice, Judicial Review, Constitutionalism, Comparative Law, Legislation
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