Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Huneeus & Madsen on Comparative History of Human Rights

Alexandra Valeria Huneeus and Mikael Rask Madsen, University of Wisconsin Law School and University of Copenhagen have posted Between Universalism and Regional Law and Politics: A Comparative History of the American, European and African Human Rights Systems, forthcoming in ICON:
Regional human rights have been heralded as one of the greatest innovations of international law of the 20th century. And yet, the broader debate on the history of human rights has paid surprisingly little attention to regional human rights systems, thereby missing some of the most salient strands of the larger history. This article represents a first systematic attempt to compare the institutional histories of the regional human rights systems in Europe, the Americas and Africa. It reveals how the regional rights systems’ evolution has been shaped in part by the same geopolitical dynamics, and how, in many ways, they have explicitly and implicitly worked in tandem, linked by common challenges, and notably by shared ideas and practices. Our story also uncovers that the paths of influence between the regional rights systems are not, as is often assumed, simply unidirectional: while it is undoubtedly the case that the European human rights system became influential in its region earlier, the Latin American and African systems have also contributed to the making of the broader international human rights order.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog