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PHIL 2102 Week 1.docx

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PHIL 2103
Jay Drydyk

Week 1 Day 2: Human Rights and Legal Rights Rights are not objects or simple things, they are complex relationships We must say human rights exist even when they are violated • Otherwise, what is violated? • Why hold violators accountable • What should law protect? o Human rights must exist before they are legal o Part of the life cycle o Start as moral guarantee  Is the assertion that no one should be without this right is justifiable  Calls upon everyone to respect protect and support  Not everyone will, therefore having a right does not mean you enjoy it A human right to X exists: • If it is wrong to deprive anyone of it • Independently binding on everyone • Ethical justification and obligation to defend it • Calls for respect protection and support We try to take these rights and transform them into legal rights so they are legally protected Question of the Day • How far do human rights resemble legal rights? • Both are complex relationships • Do they have the same elements? o Element = constitutional parts • Are HR and LR the same kinds of relations between the same kinds of parts? “Ordinary Language Approach” • To understand the meaning of legal terms and concepts, examine their use in legal practice • To understand the law you must understand the terms used and their meaning • Humans are a sub-species of rights o Determine what a right is o So to understand the meaning of human rights language, examine the use of rights in legal practice Ordinary Language Approach to philosophy of law • Advantage : o Avoids philosophical arbitrary conceptions  Want to be conclusive • Drawbacks: o Accepts legal status quo uncritically o May ignore specific human rights practice o May ignore meaning within HR struggles  Organizations  Struggles  Councils • “Elements” of a right according to RJ Vincent o Rights-holder  Someone must have it  Needed: it doesn’t make sense to say a right isn’t morally guaranteed to any individuals or groups  Bot needed: don’t assume right holders are always and only individuals o “Object”, “substance” or “scope”  Must be a right to something  Needed: it doesn’t make sense to say X is a human right but there is nothing in particular that is morally guaranteed  Think of what is guaranteed as a capability, such as to speak freely, obtain food or medical attention o Act of exercising  Only right in a nar
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