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The globalization of law: implications for the fulfillment of human rights.

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Arturo Jimenez-Bacardi

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How does the globalization of law, the emergence of multiple and shifting venues of legal accountability, enhance or evade the fulfillment of international human rights? The utility of law for the fulfillment of human rights can be summarized as a combination of normative principles, universal repertoire of definitions and boundaries, links to state enforcement, predictable processes for conflict resolution, and a doctrine of equal standing (Kinley 2009: 215). The intersection between the globalization of law and the globalization of rights is a question of global governance: In what ways and to what extent can and should law across borders regulate and enforce the protection of individuals from abuse of both global and local authority? What does existing literature tell us about where we stand in our understanding of the extent and meaning of these intersecting forms of globalization? There is a rough spectrum from pessimistic structural theories through more optimistic cosmopolitan reformist theories of norm change, with a middle position of a sociological and indeterminate dialectical struggle over the terms and impact of global governance. While we see clear evidence in the international human rights regime of the globalization of norms, definitions, and processes, it is unclear how much the globalization of law has enhanced enforcement or even standing for the fulfillment of core rights of the person.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.