Chapter

Putting the lawyers in their place: the role of human rights in the struggle against poverty

Conor Gearty

in Fighting poverty, inequality and injustice

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427151
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302353 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427151.003.0012
Putting the lawyers in their place: the role of human rights in the struggle against poverty

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This chapter discusses how Peter embraced the framework of human rights to carry on the battles against poverty and in so doing wrested the term from the exclusive appropriation by lawyers. It notes that for Peter the core of human rights was to be found not in the courtroom but on the streets, in the souls of the activists and campaigners who are seeking to change society for the better. It argues three propositions: first, the idea of human rights in general is valuable. It further argues that the value of this notion of social rights lies principally in the political arena, and third, the least effective way of securing social rights is by an over-concentration on the legal process with the constitutionalisation of such rights being an especial disaster wherever it occurs.

Keywords: human rights; poverty; lawyers; social rights; political arena; constitutionalisation

Chapter.  6256 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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