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Professor Alan Buchanan (Duke University) 'Human rights: taking international legalization seriously'

Date: 15 May 2013 Time: 17.00 pm

Venue: Marcus Merriman LT (Bowland North)

Perhaps the dominant position among contemporary philosophers is that the key to a moral assessment of human rights practice is to develop a theory ofhuman rights as moral rights. This strategy appears to rest on an unexamined assumption, namely, that to justify an international legal human right one must show that there is a corresponding moral human right or that the international legal human right needed to realize some moral human right. I challenge, this assumption, which I call the Mirroring View. I argue that (a) given the nature of international legal human rights and the roles appeals to them play in political discourse and action, appealing to moral human rights is not necessary for justifying international legal human rights and that (b) in the case of some prominent international legal human rights, appealing to a corresponding moral human right would not be sufficient to justify them.I also provide an account of the reasons in favor of having a system of international legal human rightsPerhaps the dominant position among contemporary philosophers is that the key to a moral assessment of human rights practice is to develop a theory ofhuman rights as moral rights. This strategy appears to rest on an unexamined assumption, namely, that to justify an international legal human right one must show that there is a corresponding moral human right or that the international legal human right needed to realize some moral human right. I challenge, this assumption, which I call the Mirroring View. I argue that (a) given the nature of international legal human rights and the roles appeals to them play in political discourse and action, appealing to moral human rights is not necessary for justifying international legal human rights and that (b) in the case of some prominent international legal human rights, appealing to a corresponding moral human right would not be sufficient to justify them.I also provide an account of the reasons in favor of having a system of international legal human rights.

Event website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/cilhr/

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Who can attend: Anyone

 

Further information

Associated staff: Steven Wheatley (Law)

Organising departments and research centres: CILHR Centre for International Law and Human Rights, Law

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