CULTURAL HUMAN RIGHTS; THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED UNIVERSALITY

CULTURAL HUMAN RIGHTS; THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED UNIVERSALITY INTRODUCTION "One cannot simply be for or against human rights...its meaning is constantly shifting as it accommodates various cultures and practices. " J The development of human rights law has been based on ideals of human equality and rights from a West/Euro centric perspective.2 Western civilization grew with roots deeply implanted in liberal theory and philosophy. As one author notes; "current civilization seems to require some form of political democracy and a free-market system at home" in addition to the "Judeo-Christian cultural and moral values of the West for the core social bases of Western Civilization. It is out of these traditions that the current post-1945 universal human rights corpus was constructed."3 "The international law of human rights, arguably the most benign of all the areas of international law, seeks the universalization of European culture, philosophical, and political norms and social structures."4 The goal of this paper is to argue that human rights are less than universal. I won't attempt to argue as a cultural absolutist -one who grants supremacy to cultural values over international human rights; I will instead, argue for a system of qualified universality, one that is adjusted to accommodate various cultural, religious, and geo-political http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tilburg Law Review Brill

CULTURAL HUMAN RIGHTS; THE NEED FOR QUALIFIED UNIVERSALITY

Tilburg Law Review, Volume 11 (2): 560 – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2211-0046
eISSN
2211-2596
D.O.I.
10.1163/221125903X00483
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

INTRODUCTION "One cannot simply be for or against human rights...its meaning is constantly shifting as it accommodates various cultures and practices. " J The development of human rights law has been based on ideals of human equality and rights from a West/Euro centric perspective.2 Western civilization grew with roots deeply implanted in liberal theory and philosophy. As one author notes; "current civilization seems to require some form of political democracy and a free-market system at home" in addition to the "Judeo-Christian cultural and moral values of the West for the core social bases of Western Civilization. It is out of these traditions that the current post-1945 universal human rights corpus was constructed."3 "The international law of human rights, arguably the most benign of all the areas of international law, seeks the universalization of European culture, philosophical, and political norms and social structures."4 The goal of this paper is to argue that human rights are less than universal. I won't attempt to argue as a cultural absolutist -one who grants supremacy to cultural values over international human rights; I will instead, argue for a system of qualified universality, one that is adjusted to accommodate various cultural, religious, and geo-political

Journal

Tilburg Law ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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