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Family Law and Personal Life$
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John Eekelaar

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199535422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535422.001.0001

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(p.132) 6 Rights
Family Law and Personal Life

John Eekelaar

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes that rights are best seen as a complex amalgam comprising a claim of entitlement to an end-state necessary to protect an interest which has sufficient weight to activate action to achieve it. A distinction is drawn between a strong and weak sense of rights. Examples are given of the assertion of rights claims through political and judicial processes. Particular attention is given to the nature of human rights and children's rights, and their place in personal law. The role of judicially protected rights within democracies is defended. It is argued that cultural rights should not be seen as the rights of groups to control members of the group, but of members of the group to choose to follow practices they see important to their identity. This should be respected as an aspect of the privileged sphere subject to observation of the pre-requisites of an open society.

Keywords:   human rights, children's rights, group rights, cultural rights, open society, democracies

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