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Critical International LawPostrealism, Postcolonialism, and Transnationalism$
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Prabhakar Singh and Benoît Mayer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199450633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.001.0001

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The ‘Magic Circle’ of Rights Holders*

The ‘Magic Circle’ of Rights Holders*

Human Rights’ Outsiders

Chapter:
(p.198) 8 The ‘Magic Circle’ of Rights Holders*
Source:
Critical International Law
Author(s):

Benoît Mayer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.003.0008

This chapter develops the concept of ‘human rights outsiders’. Far from universalist views on human rights, the chapter shows that rights have never been recognized beyond a socially determined group of rights holders. It distinguishes four criteria that are used to defined insiders, while excluding the Others: personal allegiance, state territory, territory under effective control, and persons under effective power, and authority. While elements of all the four criteria of identification can still be recognized today, there seems to be a historical trend towards more inclusive human rights protection, despite many resistances.

Keywords:   human rights, jurisdiction, effective control, territory, nationality, others, exclusion

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