Agency Costs in International Human Rights

29 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2006

See all articles by David H. Moore

David H. Moore

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School


This Article asserts that the international human rights system supported by the United Nations can be productively conceived as a network of agency relationships between individuals, whose interests the system is designed to safeguard, and three main agents: states, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations. Each of these agency relationships imposes costs, as each agent has interests that conflict with those of individuals and possesses greater information than do individuals. Applying an agency perspective helps to identify these agency costs and suggests ways in which they might be reduced. An agency perspective also offers a new paradigm for viewing the human rights system, a paradigm in which the interests of individuals assume a more central role. As a result, an agency perspective makes both conceptual and practical contributions to international human rights.

Keywords: human rights, United Nations, Law & Economics, International Law

Suggested Citation

Moore, David H., Agency Costs in International Human Rights. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 42, p. 491, 2004, Available at SSRN:

David H. Moore (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

430 JRCB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-8549 (Phone)
801-422-0391 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics