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Some Preliminaries to Global Law and Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the relationship between economic globalisation and the universalisation of legal human rights obligations. It also sketches out three symptoms of crises of the Westphalian state-based paradigm of human rights protection brought about by patterns of (economic) globalisation. The important point of this crude description of the Westphalian state-of-affairs is that what may be called 'public' approaches to global law have to come to terms with the segmentation of legal and political authority in the global realm. The question that arises on the eve of the Westphalian age is to whom such obligations would be owed. While an international lawyer may point to the other state, and a constitutional lawyer to the state's own people, a global approach to human rights should press for the recognition that these obligations are owed to the individual subjected to the power of the state, anywhere and anywhen.

Keywords: constitutional lawyer; economic globalisation; global law; global realm; human rights; international lawyer; political authority; Westphalian state-of-affairs



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