The Idea of Human Rights

Author: Michael J. Perry
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195138283
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Inspired by a 1988 trip to El Salvador, Michael J. Perry's new book is a personal and scholarly exploration of the idea of human rights. Perry is one of our nation's leading authorities on the relation of morality, including religious morality, to politics and law. He seeks, in this book, to disentangle the complex idea of human rights by way of four probing and interrelated essays. * The initial essay, which is animated by Perry's skepticism about the capacity of any secular morality to offer a coherent account of the idea of human rights, suggests that the first part of the idea of human rights--the premise that every human being is "sacred" or "inviolable"--is inescapably religious. * Responding to recent criticism of "rights talk", Perry explicates, in his second essay, the meaning and value of talk about human rights. * In his third essay, Perry asks a fundamental question about human rights: Are they universal? In addressing this question, he disaggregates and criticizes several different varieties of "moral relativism" and then considers the implications of these different relativist positions for claims about human rights. * Perry turns to another fundamental question about human rights in his final essay: Are they absolute? He concludes that even if no human rights, understood as moral rights, are absolute or unconditional, some human rights, understood as international legal rights, are--and indeed, should be--absolute. In the introduction, Perry writes: "Of all the influential--indeed, formative--moral ideas to take center stage in the twentieth century, like democracy and socialism, the idea of human rights (which, again, in one form or another, is an old idea) is, for many, the most difficult. It is the most difficult in the sense that it is, for many, the hardest of the great moral ideas to integrate, the hardest to square, with the reigning intellectual assumptions of the age, especially what Bernard Williams has called 'Nietzsche's thought': 'There is not only no God, but no metaphysical order of any kind....' For those who accept 'Nietzsche's thought', can the idea of human rights possibly be more than a kind of aesthetic preference? In a culture in which it was widely believed that there is no God or metaphysical order of any kind, on what basis, if any, could the idea of human rights long survive?" The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries will appeal to students of many disciplines, including (but not limited to) law, philosophy, religion, and politics.

Religion Secular Beliefs and Human Rights

Author: Natan Lerner
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
ISBN: 9004152091
Format: PDF
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Religion, and beliefs related to religion, are today a central factor in international life and politics. International law, and human rights law in particular, have to take into consideration the religious dimension, and have done it to some extent. A body of positive law has already been developed for the protection of freedom of religion, and from religion, by the U.N. and regional organizations. This book, incorporating previously published as well as unpublished materials, discusses the legal meaning of religion and belief, the U.N. work in this respect, religious minorities, relevant regional and special arrangements, the issues of proselytism, religion and terrorism, the use of religious symbols, international criminal law, and some particular situations, such as the state and religious communities in Israel and this country's agreement with the Holy See. Law schools, human rights scholars and activists, and international organizations will find interest in the book.

Toward a Theory of Human Rights

Author: Michael J. Perry
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 113946082X
Format: PDF
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Neither the morality of human rights nor its relation to the law of human rights is well understood. In this book, Michael Perry addresses three large issues. There is undeniably a religious ground - indeed, more than one religious ground - for the morality of human rights. But is there a secular ground for the morality of human rights? What is the relation between the morality of human rights and the law of human rights? Perry here addresses the controversial issues of capital punishment, abortion, and same-sex unions. What is the proper role of courts, in a liberal democracy, in protecting - and therefore in interpreting - constitutionally entrenched human rights? In considering this question, special attention is paid to the Supreme Court and how it should rule on issues such as capital punishment and abortion. Toward a Theory of Human Rights makes a significant contribution both to human rights studies and to constitutional theory.

The Sovereignty of Human Rights

Author: Patrick Macklem
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190267321
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Sovereignty of Human Rights advances a legal theory of international human rights that defines their nature and purpose in relation to the structure and operation of international law. Professor Macklem argues that the mission of international human rights law is to mitigate adverse consequences produced by the international legal deployment of sovereignty to structure global politics into an international legal order. The book contrasts this legal conception of international human rights with moral conceptions that conceive of human rights as instruments that protect universal features of what it means to be a human being. The book also takes issue with political conceptions of international human rights that focus on the function or role that human rights plays in global political discourse. It demonstrates that human rights traditionally thought to lie at the margins of international human rights law - minority rights, indigenous rights, the right of self-determination, social rights, labor rights, and the right to development - are central to the normative architecture of the field.

Human Rights in the Constitutional Law of the United States

Author: Michael J. Perry
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107292654
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the period since the end of the Second World War, there has emerged what never before existed: a truly global morality. Some of that morality - the morality of human rights - has become entrenched in the constitutional law of the United States. This book explicates the morality of human rights and elaborates three internationally recognized human rights that are embedded in US constitutional law: the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment; the right to moral equality; and the right to religious and moral freedom. The implications of one or more of these rights for three great constitutional controversies - capital punishment, same-sex marriage and abortion - are discussed in-depth. Along the way, Michael J. Perry addresses the question of the proper role of the Supreme Court of the United States in adjudicating these controversies.

The Ultimate Rule of Law

Author: David M. Beatty
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199269808
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Ultimate Rule of Law examines judgments of leading courts around the world on issues such as religious freedom, sex discrimination, and social and economic rights. Beatty develops a radical alternative to the conventional view that in deciding these cases judges engage in an essentially interpretative, and thus subjective act, relying ultimately on their personal beliefs and political opinions. Beatty's analysis shows that it is possible to apply an impartial and objective method of judicial review, based on the principle of proportionality, which acts as an ultimate rule of law and is fully compatible with the ideals of democracy and popular sovereignty.Readership: Scholars, practitioners, and students.

Political and Legal Approaches to Human Rights

Author: Tom Campbell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351717170
Format: PDF
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This collection explores and illustrates issues arising from ‘political’ approaches to human rights in contrast to the more traditional ‘moral’ approaches. Moral approaches conceptualize and justify human rights in terms of priority rights which are both universal and moral. In contrast, political approaches focus on those human rights practices involved in the development and operation of human rights institutions, laws and political process, all in relative independence from their alleged moral foundations. The book contributes to the understanding and analysis of ‘political approaches’, including consideration of their diversity, and discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. The choice of contributors presents a balance between those theorists who favour some version of the political approach and those who are dubious about the perceived advantages. The chapters are grouped together in parts which constitute the distinctive issues addressed in the book. At a time when there is considerable uncertainty concerning their conceptual clarity, operation, feasibility, and their normative justifications, this volume will be of interest to those involved with the theory and practice of human rights, within law schools, and in politics and philosophy departments. It will also provide a useful resource for human rights practitioners and policy makers.

Christian Human Rights

Author: Samuel Moyn
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812292774
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Christian Human Rights, Samuel Moyn asserts that the rise of human rights after World War II was prefigured and inspired by a defense of the dignity of the human person that first arose in Christian churches and religious thought in the years just prior to the outbreak of the war. The Roman Catholic Church and transatlantic Protestant circles dominated the public discussion of the new principles in what became the last European golden age for the Christian faith. At the same time, West European governments after World War II, particularly in the ascendant Christian Democratic parties, became more tolerant of public expressions of religious piety. Human rights rose to public prominence in the space opened up by these dual developments of the early Cold War. Moyn argues that human dignity became central to Christian political discourse as early as 1937. Pius XII's wartime Christmas addresses announced the basic idea of universal human rights as a principle of world, and not merely state, order. By focusing on the 1930s and 1940s, Moyn demonstrates how the language of human rights was separated from the secular heritage of the French Revolution and put to use by postwar democracies governed by Christian parties, which reinvented them to impose moral constraints on individuals, support conservative family structures, and preserve existing social hierarchies. The book ends with a provocative chapter that traces contemporary European struggles to assimilate Muslim immigrants to the continent's legacy of Christian human rights.

Handbook of Human Rights

Author: Thomas Cushman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134019076
Format: PDF
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In mapping out the field of human rights for those studying and researching within both humanities and social science disciplines, the Handbook of Human Rights not only provides a solid foundation for the reader who wants to learn the basic parameters of the field, but also promotes new thinking and frameworks for the study of human rights in the twenty-first century. The Handbook comprises over sixty individual contributions from key figures around the world, which are grouped according to eight key areas of discussion: foundations and critiques; new frameworks for understanding human rights; world religious traditions and human rights; social, economic, group, and collective rights; critical perspectives on human rights organizations, institutions, and practices; law and human rights; narrative and aesthetic dimension of rights; geographies of rights. In its presentation and analysis of the traditional core history and topics, critical perspectives, human rights culture, and current practice, this Handbook proves a valuable resource for all students and researchers with an interest in human rights.