Petr Agha

Self-authored human rights as claim to universality

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The critique of human rights has proliferated much in legal thinking over recent years. The conclusions appear to have been reached, albeit not always by the same means, that we can no longer uncritically accept human rights in their current, liberal form. What follows from this conclusion, however, is more contested. What can we do with human rights? How do we approach rights when they are no longer uncontested universal values? In this article, I assert that one way human rights may be productively re-engaged is to bring them back within the purview of a wider political project, adopting a critical approach to current relations of power. What this idea offers, therefore, is the potential for us to consciously think through human rights practice as a link to a wider project for democracy.


  • human rights –
  • European Court of Human Rights –
  • law and politics –
  • democracy


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