Parliamentary Review with a Democratic Charter of Rights

Tom Campbell

in The Legal Protection of Human Rights

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606078
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729720 | DOI:
Parliamentary Review with a Democratic Charter of Rights

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This chapter discusses a type of bill of rights that draws on a political conception of human rights according to which the enumerated rights serve as a basis for enacting specific legislation. The proposed human rights regime is one in which a statutory bill of rights is used institutionally, not to service judicial review, but to provide the terms of reference for a variety of political mechanisms for agendizing, prioritizing, and developing a polity's human rights commitments within the mainstream democratic process. This chapter addresses the problem of how to arrive at a conception of human rights that is not tied to human rights law. It argues that human rights are best understood as a moral concept with a social, economic, and political focus, whose official articulation should be democratic and hence legislative. This involves identifying key human rights values together with those political and social institutions and practices essential for their effective realization, the prioritization and coordination of which is a matter for ongoing political debate and decision-making.

Keywords: political conception; democratic charter of rights; parliamentary scrutiny; bill of rights; political institutions

Chapter.  10029 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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