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The Limits of Human Rights$
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Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824756.001.0001

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Reason, Faith, and Feelings

Reason, Faith, and Feelings

A Response to David Dyzenhaus

(p.109) 6 Reason, Faith, and Feelings
The Limits of Human Rights

Conor Gearty

Oxford University Press

The principle of requiring executive power to be justified works well where that justification is rooted in reasoned argument, and it is even more effective when it is also required to be tested against substantive human rights principles. But what happens when the justification supplied for coercive action by a state is rooted in a socio-legal tradition that is not rooted in the liberal and constitutionalist tradition? In such circumstances the power may continue to be mediated by law but the veneer of legality and of human rights compliance will be thin indeed. Judicial decisions drawn from the UK and the European Court of Human Rights are deployed to demonstrate the point and so to highlight one of the difficulties about mapping Dyzenhaus’s argument onto the politics that we encounter today rather than the politics we would like to have.

Keywords:   human rights, Hobbes, justification, emergency, proportionality

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