Rights And Their Realisation

  • Dilys M. Hill
Part of the Southampton Studies in International Policy book series (SSIP)


The debate about economic, social and cultural rights is a lively and contentious one. Controversy centres on two problems. First, there is the alleged inherent difficulty in asserting that these concerns can in fact claim the status of rights. Second, and relatedly, there is the issue of whether they are justiciable, that is, can they be the subject of adjudication and enforcement? These two problems are inextricably intertwined. If, as many argue economic and social rights are not rights but goals and aspirations of human society, then they are not issues for the courts but for the policy process. At the same time, however, it can be argued that justiciability itself cannot be narrowly confined to the court process alone, but is more properly defined as a matter of review processes, and thus of enforcement and implementation.


Indigenous People European Convention Court System International Arena International Regime 
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  1. 2.
    A position refuted by many authors who stress that traditional rights of freedom from government interference require state action involving resources for the administration of justice. See, for example, L.A. Rehof, ‘Development Assistance From The Point Of View Of Human Rights’, L.A. Rehof and C. Gulmann (eds), Human Rights in Domestic Law and Development Assistance Policies of the Nordic Countries (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989), p.12.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    K. Tomasevski, Development Aid and Human Rights (London: Pinter, 1989), p.203. (Katerina Tomasevski was a participant of the 1988 Southampton Human Rights Study Group Workshop from which this Part of the present volume arose).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    See the discussion on Détente, and the chapter by Iain Elliot, in Dilys M. Hill (ed.), Human Rights and Foreign Policy (London: Macmillan, 1989).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    See P. Alston, ‘Making Space for New Human Rights: The Case of the Right to Development’, M. Panner and W.J. O’Farrell (eds), Human Rights Yearbook. Vol. 1. 1988 (Harvard, Mass.: Harvard Law School, 1988), pp.22, 27.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    P. Sieghart, The Lawful Rights of Mankind (Oxford: OUP, 1985), p.xi.Google Scholar

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© Ralph Beddard and Dilys M. Hill 1992

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  • Dilys M. Hill

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