By Tony Evans (auth.)
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Extra resources for US Hegemony and the Project of Universal Human Rights
The importance of this point becomes more obvious in the following chapters that deal with conflicts over drafting processes for the International Bill of Human Rights. Finally, it is important to be aware of some potentially negative aspects of international law and the international law approach to human rights. ive public support to emergent international law in areas of moral concern. Having once engaged in the debate on human rights, having given the idea of human rights political force and legitimacy by placing it as a central plank of the UN Charter, and having promoted the cause of human rights as a central value in the emerging postwar order, the founding members of the UN had invested considerable political currency in establishing a human rights regime.
For example, the fundamental right to life inevitably includes an escape clause, which once enshrined in binding covenants, permits capital punishment under due process of law. Defining universal human rights as a limitation to the truth claim, as international law does, legitimises the authority of the state over the moral claims of the individual. As Teson expresses it: [an] enlightened moral and political global reality is ill served by the statist model of international law. The model promotes states and not individuals, governments not persons, order not rights, compliance not justice.
Although much has been written on the problem of cultural diversity, particularly in the attempt to establish a foundation for claims of universality, the existence of different traditions of law, and therefore competinf interpretations of 6 international law, seems to have escaped criticism. This is of greater Universal Human Rights and International Regimes 29 importance in fields like international human rights law, where implementation remains firmly in the hands of the state and domestic legal systems.