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Social Injustice and Public Health$
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Barry S. Levy

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190914653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190914653.001.0001

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Protecting Human Rights Through International and National Law

Protecting Human Rights Through International and National Law

(p.553) 27 Protecting Human Rights Through International and National Law
Social Injustice and Public Health

Henry A. Freedman

Martha F. Davis

Oxford University Press

International and national law can play a critical role in protecting human rights and thereby reducing social injustice because law is the primary system through which the national and international communities seek to enforce social norms. The notion of a supreme law that confers on individuals rights that transcend those found in the codes of laws of their nations is a constant theme in the writings of all major cultures for the past 2,500 years. After providing a historical perspective on these issues, the chapter describes how international and national law can reduce social injustice. It provides specific examples of laws and legal cases that have helped to achieve social justice, both internationally and within the United States. The chapter concludes with an agenda for action. A text box addresses the prevention of torture.

Keywords:   social justice, social injustice, health, public health, human rights, law, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Affordable Care Act, healthcare, civil liberties

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