Human Rights By John Brown Analysis

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The paper delves into the various controversies and contradictions that accompany the discourse and discussion of human rights. While some describe human rights as inalienable and unconditional freedoms that one ought to enjoy by the virtue of their being human, the author sparks debate by implying that it is almost as though there is a start and end of these fundamental freedoms. The title of the paper is a critique and as such, the author goes on to deliver a critical analysis of the various schools of thoughts and the positions taken by the different authorities on the subject. The author acknowledges the role of cultural relativism and globalization in shaping the human rights debate and notes that the two forces make the discussion almost…show more content…
As such, rights make sense when evaluated within the workings of a given system of law. Consequently, Brown proposes a positive law, the directives, and regulations enforced by state institutions as well as natural law, which looks at issues from the context of human beings and their distinctive attributes. The communal dimension of human rights is based on institutions, and the author identifies the family, civil society, and the state as the three institutions within which individual freedoms are enshrined. The communal aspect extends to the international context in which the author argues that the enforcement of universally applicable liberties and freedoms is based on shared values and the recognition of human values that each possesses. The author then concludes that human rights exist subject to certain societal or political forces that may determine the limits to which the freedoms may…show more content…
The author though seems to imply explicitly that there is no such thing as a universal view of human rights, and that is quite a strong argument in this context. Even he acknowledges that people who find themselves under oppressive regimes that restrict the enjoyment of their fundamental freedom would probably be enjoying those rights in an ideal situation. While this is a relativist take, it points to some equilibrium position or state in which all people would enjoy their freedoms without any constraints. The view that the author assumes is therefore not as clear as it probably should be. He needs to shed further light on whether or not it is possible to have a single set of rights that satisfies the needs of all people or it would take each group of individuals having their distinct set of freedoms to meet their unique needs. The assessment of this issue would be in the context of those jurisdictions with tyrannical regimes that deny their people access to the basic human freedoms such as the right to free speech or assembly. It should answer the question on whether such people would be better off if there were a way of guaranteeing their freedoms under a framework of

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