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Preliminary Notes on Human Rights as Access Rights

Zartaloudis, Thanos (2006) Preliminary Notes on Human Rights as Access Rights. Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, 24 (2). pp. 401-425. ISSN 0710-0841. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:43582)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


This essay offers a theoretical account of human rights that considers

"humanity" not just as a legal principle but also as a rhetorical

term of legal discourse. A concept of humanity can be

characterised in its political, juridical and philosophical understandings

by a dual character: it is both a saying (an action) and

a right (a form). Its saying-character and its right-characterprovide

"humanity" with the authority and simultaneous fragility of

its discursive principle-character.Human rights operate ontologically

as a form of false access to a juridical structure in that

human rights abstract and rhetorically presuppose the saying character

of a pure form or ("naked humanity'). This pure form

of "naked humanity" then sets a paradoxical limit in the "right character"

or figure of the citizen. The right-character of the citizen

takes the form of the rational subject and the responsible individual.

Human rights, if for once conceived as a profane structure

rather than as a transcendental "Law of law" as this work

explains, can then be thought of as access rights that communicate

the non-de-differentiation of juridical and non-juridical truth.

Rights are self-referential means of communicating a real paradox

and that cannot be escaped. Yet that is not to claim for any kind

of self-sufficiency or a predestined end. What is crucial to appreciate

is that whatever one calls them - "human "rights or "social"

rights - their understanding as access rights remains undeveloped.

Access rights are an action against another action. Human rights

understood as access rights suggest that any humanity, autonomy

or right is derived from the eventual participation and sustainability

of a singular humanbeing in each emergent relation to an

institutional structure, rather than from mere ontological membership

in such a structure. Human rights as "access rights" do not

refer to an access to a common form of being, but to a protection

from the burrow of exchangeability in liberal-individualism.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Thanos Zartaloudis
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2014 10:21 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 13:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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