Informations and abstract
Keywords: Legal Rights, Will Theory, Interest Theory, Consequentialism, Third-Party Beneficiaries.
This paper aims to show how a consequentialist ethical theory can account for the function and utility of the concept of legal rights. It proposes that the so-called "Interest Theory" of rights, which treats rights as benefits for their holders, should be preferred to the so-called "Will Theory", on account of its better explanation of the specific function of rights. A consequentialist perspective, it is further proposed, can also explain away or amend some alleged or real defects of the Interest Theory, which are due to the influence of "right-based" ethical theories.