The Idea of International Human Rights Law

ISBN : 9780198749844

Steven Wheatley
220 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2018
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International Human Rights Law has emerged as an academic subject in its own right, separate from, but still related to International Law. This book explains the distinctive nature of this new discipline by examining the influence of the idea of human rights on general international law. Rather than make use of a particular moral philosophy or political theory, it explains human rights by examining the way the term is deployed in legal practice, on the understanding that words are given meaning through their use. Relying on complexity theory to make sense of the legal practice in the United Nations, the core human rights treaties, and customary international law, the work demonstrates the emergence of the moral concept of human rights as a fact of the social world, the dynamic nature of this concept, and the influence of the idea on the legal practice, a fact that explains the fragmentation of international law and special nature of International Human Rights Law.


1 What we Mean when we Talk about 'Human Rights'
2 Complexity as a Methodology in International Law
3 United Nations Human Rights Law
4 The Core UN Human Rights Treaty Systems
5 Customary Human Rights Law
6 On the Idea of Human Rights
7 The Idea of International Human Rights Law

About the author: 

Steven Wheatley is Professor of International Law at the University of Lancaster. He has written extensively on the subject of human rights, including Democracy, Minorities and International Law (CUP, 2005) and The Democratic Legitimacy of International Law (Hart, 2010).

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