Chapter

Individual Rights and Foreign Affairs

Louis Henkin

in Foreign Affairs and the United States Constitution

Second edition

Published in print November 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260981
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682193 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260981.003.0050
Individual Rights and Foreign Affairs

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This chapter is concerned with the individual not as an actor in the United States' foreign relations, or even as a member of the chorus, but as a source of constitutional limitation on foreign policy and process. Nothing in the constitution suggests that the rights of individuals in respect of foreign affairs are different from what they are in relation to other exercises of governmental power. However, special constitutional theories, and peculiarities of constitutional language, about foreign relations, their high place in national policy and interest, the asserted needs for extraordinary freedom of action for those who conduct them, the different constitutional issues they raise and the different contexts in which these arise, have engendered views that individual rights are fewer and narrower than elsewhere. These views have not prevailed in principle, but constitutional protections for individuals sometimes do have a different look.

Keywords: United States; individual rights; constitution; foreign policy; foreign relations; constitutional protections

Chapter.  12476 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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