“The Universality of Human Rights: Pragmatism Meets Idealism” by Professor Yuval Shany, the second JBI Human Rights Lecture, is now available online here.
Professor Shany explores whether the universality of human rights is fixed and beyond challenge. He confronts a number of ways in which rights may not be delivered to right holders in a uniform or universally similar form. Shany recounts some familiar arguments concerning the need to adapt to different cultures. He delves into issues of enforcement of rights including the failure of States to invest adequate financial resources to monitor rights, resulting in a lack of effective monitoring.
In an introduction to the lecture, JBI points out that while all human rights are not upheld in every situation, de facto, this does not necessarily mean the rights themselves lack universal application or normative value. The availability and effectiveness of enforcement mechanisms (or lack thereof) for human rights obligations do not alter the universality of the rights themselves.
As with other JBI Human Rights Lectures, we encourage readers to address the questions Professor Shany raises in the framework of the ongoing effort to promote and protect human rights.
For a hard copy of the lecture, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.