Human goods and human rights law

Presented by ANU College of Law

Hosted by the ANU College of Law Visitors Committee, this seminar will be presented by Dr Grégoire Webber (Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law).

The category of 'human rights law' is sometimes limited to bills and charters of rights on the model of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the case law of courts interpreting and applying these legal measures. In an effort to expand the category of human rights law, I explore the thought that the measures that realise human rights in the law are the everyday, unremarkable measures that make up the full corpus of legal materials directing what may, must, and must not be done. The argument explores how all sound positive law finds its source in human goods through one of two modes of derivation: deduction or specification. These are the same two modes of positive law's derivation from natural law in the thought of Aquinas, for the reach of human rights law is more or less coextensive with the reach of positive law and the human goods from which are derived human rights law are the same human goods from which are derived natural law's practical principles and precepts.

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