Conference Paper

Justifying International Legal Human Rights



Tomalty J (2016) Justifying International Legal Human Rights. Book Symposium: The Heart of Human Rights, Nuffield College, Oxford, 05.06.2015-05.06.2015. Ethics and International Affairs, 30 (4), p. 483–490.

First paragraph: In The Heart of Human Rights, Allen Buchanan emphasizes the distinction between moral human rights (MHRs) on the one hand and international legal human rights (ILHRs) on the other. MHRs are the moral rights held universally by all humans simply in virtue of being human. ILHRs are the legal rights at the heart of international practice, which are articulated in the United Nations’ International Bill of Rights and related legal documents. One of the most controversial aspects of Buchanan’s account of human rights is its denial of any significant role for MHRs in the justification of the content of ILHRs. This is at odds with the orthodoxy, according to which there is a close connection between MHRs and ILHRs. In particular, Buchanan challenges what he calls the “Mirroring View,” according to which each ILHR constitutes the reflection of some corresponding MHR.

Ethics and International Affairs: Volume 30, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online31/05/2016
PublisherCambridge University Press
ConferenceBook Symposium: The Heart of Human Rights
Conference locationNuffield College, Oxford