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Open Access Human Rights Enforcement Towards a People-Centered Alternative? A Reaction to Professor Abdullahi An-Na’im

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Human Rights Enforcement Towards a People-Centered Alternative? A Reaction to Professor Abdullahi An-Na’im

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The lecture ‘The Spirit of Laws is not Universal: Alternatives to the Enforcement Paradigm for Human Rights’ by Professor Abdullahi An-Na’Im goes to the heart of the human rights predicament. An-Na’Im offers a profound critique of the inadequacy of the current treaty-based state-centric enforcement paradigm and suggest a people-centered alternative, to human rights protection. The alternative proposed remains rather indistinct and raises several questions addressed in this commentary. Human rights enforcement is a much more complex interplay of transnational legal processes than portrayed. It is argued that international human rights law is gradually evolving towards a more complex, multifarious landscape than that of the established, one-dimensional state-centered paradigm. Moreover, agreeing with the need for a paradigm shift away from the state as the conventional duty-bearer it is suggested that this should go beyond political power to include economic power.

Affiliations: 1: Chair of International Human Rights Law at Tilburg, Nicola.jagers@tilburguniversity.edu

10.1163/22112596-02102009
/content/journals/10.1163/22112596-02102009
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The lecture ‘The Spirit of Laws is not Universal: Alternatives to the Enforcement Paradigm for Human Rights’ by Professor Abdullahi An-Na’Im goes to the heart of the human rights predicament. An-Na’Im offers a profound critique of the inadequacy of the current treaty-based state-centric enforcement paradigm and suggest a people-centered alternative, to human rights protection. The alternative proposed remains rather indistinct and raises several questions addressed in this commentary. Human rights enforcement is a much more complex interplay of transnational legal processes than portrayed. It is argued that international human rights law is gradually evolving towards a more complex, multifarious landscape than that of the established, one-dimensional state-centered paradigm. Moreover, agreeing with the need for a paradigm shift away from the state as the conventional duty-bearer it is suggested that this should go beyond political power to include economic power.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22112596-02102009
2016-10-12
2018-09-21

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