RSSBook Symposium: The Heart of Human Rights

Introduction

| December 14, 2016
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The last few decades have seen a lively philosophical debate surrounding human rights. Allen Buchanan’s book The Heart of Human Rights constitutes an important and novel contribution to this debate, focusing on the moral dimensions of international legal human rights (ILHRs) and the institutions responsible for their existence and implementation.

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Human Rights and Status Egalitarianism

| December 14, 2016
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In this essay, Miller throws doubt on Allen Buchanan’s claim that to understand the system of international legal human rights, we must acknowledge not only their “well-being function” but also a second function that he calls their “status egalitarian function.”

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Justifying International Legal Human Rights

| December 14, 2016
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In this essay, Tomalty argues that Buchanan’s alternative account of the justification of ILHRs is problematic. Rejecting the “Mirroring View” does not entail the irrelevance of moral human rights to the justification of the content of ILHRs.

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Human Rights: A Plea for Taking the Law and Institutions Seriously

| December 14, 2016
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Buchanan responds to some of the points made by each of the contributors to the symposium, making his case for taking international laws and institutions seriously and urging scholars to continue this discussion.

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On Constitutional Democracy and Robust International Law

| December 14, 2016
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This essay focuses on the tension between robust international law (RIL) and democratic constitutions. The author argues that Buchanan is broadly correct about the nature of the relationship between RIL and constitutional democracy, but that the tension between them runs deeper than his discussion allows us to see.

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Are Moral Rights Necessary for the Justification of International Legal Human Rights?

| December 14, 2016
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Andrea Sangiovanni argues that the existence of an underlying moral right is a necessary part of any successful justification of an International Legal Human Right (ILHR). This underlying moral right need not have precisely the same content as the ILHR it aids in justifying, but it must serve as an essential part of the rationale for the implementation of the ILHR.

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The Fragility of International Human Rights Law

| December 14, 2016
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In this essay, Zucca argues that some philosophers’ optimism about international human rights legal practice is misguided. He argues that human rights law is not robust and its practice lacks shape and strength. Further, the gap between ideals and practice is only likely to increase rather than the other way around.

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