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Extent: 318 pp



Human Rights Law in Perspective
The Tension Between Group Rights and Human Rights
A Multidisciplinary Approach
First Edition
Edited by: Koen De Feyter, George Pavlakos    

The discussion of group rights, while always a part of the human rights discourse, has been gaining importance in the past decade. This discussion, which remains fundamental to a full realisation by the international community of its international human rights goals, requires careful analysis and empirical research. The present volume offers a great deal of material for both. It makes a strong case in favour of a multidisciplinary approach to human rights and explores the origins and social, anthropological and legal/political dimensions of human rights and internationally recognised group rights. It explores legal issues such as the reservations to international treaties and methodological questions, including the question of deliberative processes which allow seemingly absolute requirements of human rights to be reconciled with culturally sensitive norms prevailing within various groups. The discussion continues by looking at specific contexts, including the situations of women, school communities, ethnic and linguistic minorities, migrant communities and impoverished groups. The final part of the volume examines the 'state of play' of human rights and group rights in international law, in international relations and in the context of internationally sponsored development policies. Here the authors offer a meticulous and critical presentation of the legal regulation of human rights and group rights and point to numerous weaknesses which continue to exist and which call for additional work by legal thinkers and practitioners.

Koen De Feyter is professor of international law at the law faculty of the University of Antwerp. He is the author of World development law (Antwerp, Intersentia, 2001) and Human rights. Social justice in the age of the market (London, Zed Books, 2005). He previously held positions at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (Venice), at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Maastricht and at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (Antwerp).

George Pavlakos is Research Chair in Globalisation and Legal Theory at the University of Antwerp. He has published widely in the areas of legal theory and philosophy; his other books include Jurisprudence or Legal Science? (edited with Sean Coyle) (Hart Publishing, 2006), a monograph in German entitled Rechtsontologie und praktische Vernunft (Nomos Verlag, 2007), an edited book entitled Law, Rights and Discourse: The Legal Philosophy of Robert Alexy (Hart Publishing, 2007), and his own most recent monograph Our Knowledge of the Law (Hart Publishing, 2007).

July 2008
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