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Liberty IntactHuman Rights in English Law$
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Michael Tugendhat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.001.0001

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Functions of Rights

Functions of Rights

(p.173) 13 Functions of Rights
Liberty Intact

Michael Tugendhat

Oxford University Press

Human rights have functions for everyone in our relations between one another, for everyone in their relations with states, and for states in their relations with other states. They set out how individuals and states should behave, they set standards by which to measure their compliance of states with those standards, and by which to judge whether individuals should resist states, and by what conduct, and whether states should intervene in other states. They set standards for lawmakers and the framers of treaties, and for judges in interpreting statutes and in developing the common law in disputes between individuals and other individuals, and between individuals and the state. Rights were invoked by de Las Casas in defence of the indigenous peoples of South America, by those colonizing or intervening in foreign countries, by colonial peoples seeking independence, and by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Halifax in justifying the Second World War.

Keywords:   constitutional rights, treaties, judicial review, declaration of independence, four freedoms, Churchill, Roosevelt, Halifax, De Las Casas, British Empire, colonialism, Second World War, Irish Constitution

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