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Human Rights Fundamentalisms

David Kinley

The University of Sydney Law School

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 545-575, 2007
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/09

At the same time as the power and prevalence of human rights is growing within political, legal and social discourse, their foundations are being undermined by two insidious forces - one that values human rights too little, and the other which values them too much. Especially in the new world order of post 9/11, human rights are seen by those in the first camp to be dispensable privileges, while those in the second camp over-state the human rights cause and are resistant to any sort of criticism of their form or substance. This lecture critiques the dimensions and dangers of both these fundamentalist perspectives, in Australian and international contexts, and offers some suggestions as to how human rights might be rescued from their debilitating grasp.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: human rights, legal theory, international law, law and society, law and liberalism

JEL Classification: K33, K10

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Date posted: February 8, 2007 ; Last revised: February 2, 2015

Suggested Citation

Kinley, David, Human Rights Fundamentalisms. Sydney Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 545-575, 2007; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962000

Contact Information

David Kinley (Contact Author)
The University of Sydney Law School ( email )
New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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