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The Concept of Group Rights in International Law

Groups as Contested Right-Holders, Subjects and Legal Persons

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The Concept of Group Rights in International Law offers a critical appraisal of the concept of group rights in international law on the basis of an extensive survey of existing group rights in contemporary international law. Among some of its findings is the observation that an ideological way of arguing about this legal category is widespread among scholars as well as practitioners; it sees this ideological framing as one of the main reasons why international law has so far been very reluctant to provide group rights and to call them by their name. Accordingly, the book re-evaluates the concept based on the experience with existing group rights in international law and pleads for a more pragmatic approach. Despite limitations with the concept, the overall thesis is that there is a role for group rights as a pragmatic tool allowing for a principled approach to substate groups through international law. Such an approach could turn group rights into an arguably minor, but nevertheless, highly relevant legal category of international law.

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