The Federation Press

Rethinking Human Rights


During the second half of the 20th century, international treaties, domestic legislation and active supreme courts have increased awareness and realisation of right in many nations. Even so, this has not prevented human rights disasters in so many places like Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia as well as recent erosions of rights’ gains in the West. So where do we go from here?

Rethinking Human Rights brings together practitioners and academics in an attempt to address two crucial issues on the future of human rights in an increasingly integrated global community.

  • What kinds of human rights norms are appropriate for the 21st century?
  • What are the most effective means of protecting or enhancing those rights and is it desirable to do so?

This volume considers development in rights thoughts, the protection and implementation of human rights norms and provides an in-depth look at the rights of self-ownership, equality and citizenship in a global community. Contributors provide contrasting views on the feasibility of bills of rights as well as examinations of the different generations of rights. Cultural and gendered notions of rights are analysed and revisions offered.

Table of Contents


Developments in Rights Thought
Human Rights: an Agenda for the Future
Michael Kirby
Human Rights Problems: Moral, Political, Philosophical
Alice Erh-Soon Tay
Taking the Gender of Rights Seriously
Hilary Charlesworth
The Four Dimensions of Rights
Charles Sampford

Protection and Implementation of Human Rights Norms
The UN and the International Protection of Human Rights
Anne F Bayefsky
A Policy for Human Rights in the Asia Pacific
Alice Erh-Soon Tay
Identifying Rights for the 21st Century
Glenn Patmore
Natural Law or Common Law: Human Rights in Australia
DFB Tucker
Citizen and Elite Attitudes Towards an Australian Bill of Rights
Brian Galligan and Ian McAllister
Rights and Reasons: Teaching Tolerance and Rationality
Tom Round

Particular Rights and Their Protection
Is Self-ownership a Human Right?
JW Harris
Some Aspects of Equality Rights: Theory and Practice
Beth Gaze
Globalism, the Regional Citizen and Democracy
Alastair Davidson

Table of Cases/ Table of Statutes/ References/ Index

Of interest...