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Human Rights Without Foundations

Joseph Raz

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Columbia University - Law School; King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

March 2007

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14/2007

Using the accounts of Gewirth and Griffin as examples, the article criticises accounts of human rights as those are understood in human rights practices, which regard them as rights all human beings have in virtue of their humanity. Instead it suggests that (with Rawls) human rights set the limits to the sovereignty of the state, but criticises Rawls conflation of sovereignty with legitimate authority. The resulting conception takes human rights, like other rights, to be contingent on social conditions, and in particular on the nature of the international system.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Jurisprudence, Human Rights

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Date posted: July 11, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Raz, Joseph, Human Rights Without Foundations (March 2007). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14/2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999874 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.999874

Contact Information

Joseph Raz (Contact Author)
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )
St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://josephnraz.googlepages.com/home
Columbia University - Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
HOME PAGE: http://josephnraz.googlepages.com/home

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )
Somerset House East Wing
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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