Concepts Of Universalism And Cultural Relativism International Law Essay

August 25, 2017 Cultural

“ Human Rights ” is a comparatively new look, holding come into international jurisprudence merely after World War II and the constitution of United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948 is a milepost papers in the history of human rights. And the argument, which arose along with the internationalisation of human rights, is whether all human rights are cosmopolitan, or there are certain rights and freedoms, which can be avoided for the cultural characteristics. This essay examines the argument through the contradiction of constructs of Universalism and Cultural Relativism.

International jurisprudence, which really has started developing with the first provinces, has been a topic of important alterations particularly during the period between Westphalian peace pact ( 1648 ) and World War I. Traditional international jurisprudence is a jurisprudence of power, that is the war is considered to be an of import property of province sovereignty. One of the indispensable qualitative differences between traditional international jurisprudence and modern-day international jurisprudence is the prohibition of aggressive wars and the thought of international protection of human rights. In other words, modern-day international jurisprudence takes the rights of adult male under its backing. The international protection of human rights is a radical thought and traditional subjects of international jurisprudence have nil to make with it at all. It has been an recognized philosophy that international jurisprudence is to modulate the dealingss between nation-states, but non persons. Thus Oppenheim, the taking authorization on international jurisprudence in the United Kingdom wrote, that “ the alleged rights of adult male non merely do non, but can non bask any protection under international jurisprudence, because that jurisprudence is concerned entirely with the dealingss between provinces and can non confabulate rights on persons. ”[ 1 ]

Shortly after the atrociousnesss of World War II, the first measure was taken to set up and acknowledge the catholicity of human rights in international jurisprudence. It was proclaimed in the Purposes of UN Charter that human rights and cardinal freedoms are “ for all without differentiation as to race, sex, linguistic communication, or faith. ”[ 2 ]The acceptance and announcement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was another major advancement in the process of universalising the human rights. The UDHR Preamble was clearly specifying that “ The General Assembly proclaims This Universal Declaration Of Human Rights as a common criterion of accomplishment for all peoples and all nationsaˆ¦ ”[ 3 ]Subsequently the rules of UN Charter and UDHR were developed and affirmed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights both adopted by General Assembly declaration 2200 ( XXI ) of 16 December 1966, and in figure of other international pacts and understandings. As a consequence, a cosmopolitan system of regulations was established for the protection of human rights.

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The quandary of international protection of human rights is the ideological struggle of Universalism and Cultural Relativism. Simply put, the construct of Universalism holds that each human being possesses certain unalienable rights merely because he or she is a human, irrespective the national background, spiritual or political positions, gander or age. The advocates of this construct claim that “ the international human rights like rights to equal protection, physical security, free address, freedom of faith and free association are and must be the same everyplace. ”[ 4 ]The construct of Universalism bases on three cardinal jurisprudential theories- the natural jurisprudence theory, the theory of rationalism, and the theory of positivism. The roots of natural jurisprudence theory go back to the ancient times. The chief point of this theory is that natural jurisprudence is standing above manmade positive jurisprudence and defines the eliminable human rights, which are necessary for all the nation-states. Rationalism, a closely related construct, “ is a theory of cosmopolitan Torahs based on a belief in the cosmopolitan human capacity to ground and believe rationally. ”[ 5 ]Rationalism supersedes the thought of godly beginning of natural jurisprudence with the theory that each person is endowed with certain rights due to the cosmopolitan capacity of all persons to believe rationally. Both natural jurisprudence theory and theory of rationalism consider cosmopolitan human rights non to depend on cultural diversenesss and fortes. Theory of positivism demonstrates the being of cosmopolitan human rights observing the credence and confirmation of human rights instruments by huge bulk of provinces regardless their cultural background. It appears that the construct of Universalism with its back uping theories of natural jurisprudence, rationalism and positivism finds the beginning of human rights in international jurisprudence, instead than in single civilizations. Human Rights are extracultural.

Cultural relativism is the averment that human values, far from being cosmopolitan, vary a great trade harmonizing to different cultural positions.[ 6 ]From my point of position one of the major drawbacks of the theory of Cultural relativism is the perceptual experience of “ civilization ” as something unchanging and stable. In fact, all types of Cultural relativism, be it Strong or Weak[ 7 ]Cultural relativism, are based on stable construct of civilization, which fails to acknowledge the flexibleness of civilization for societal alterations and ideological inventions. Whereas, I strongly support the thought that civilization is an on-going procedure of historical development, version and development. Oppositions of this theory argue that Cultural relativism can be unsafe for the effectivity of international protection of human rights, since the nature of the theory basically justifies human rights abuses associating to the imposts and traditions of the society. Indian tradition of sati[ 8 ]is a bright illustration of human rights misdemeanor with cultural bases. An eighteen-year-old Rajput miss committed sati in 1987 during her hubby ‘s funeral pyre. She was a university pupil and her matrimony was insisted by her parents. There is no grounds whether she committed sati voluntarily or under force per unit area, nevertheless this instance found a big response among Rajput society. As a mark of protest many human rights militants, both work forces and adult females, organized Marches against the tradition of sati, meanwhile many others came out for the tradition, claiming that sati is a important portion of their cultural civilization. They non merely made the immature miss as a symbol of devoted married woman, but besides erected a shrine in award of her. The human rights guardians and militants were branded as Western imperialists who were supplanting old Indian traditions with Western 1s. Obviously, the theory of Cultural relativism leads to the thought, that the chief societal unit is community, non single. A inquiry rises, does the community have rights to enforce its will on an person, or does it hold rights to restrict any eliminable right of single?

As one of the ancient states, Armenians have their ain alone cultural traditions and range of moralss, though our traditions are more flexible to run into the challenges of clip. I do non waver to underscore that Armenian traditions are rather humanistic, since they are mostly inspired with the political orientation of Armenian Apostolic Church. One of the greatest miracles of Armenian Apostolic Church is that there is non separate church and separate people, our church and people together is one whole integrity, like a immense “ cathedral ” . And this “ cathedral ” cavities inside it all the human values, like scruples, kindness etc.

Investigating the constructs of Universalism and Cultural Relativism, I came to the decision that in many societies or it is better to state in many communities societal dealingss are regulated through native traditional norms. Indeed, rejection of international human rights may take to systematic maltreatments of human rights within the societies or communities, still sometimes international protection of human rights can be used for political intents. Human rights misdemeanors sometimes are ground for intercession of one state ‘s armed forces into another state ‘s district. From this point, cultural relativism is non justified. I justify the being of Cultural Relativism alternatively. In my sentiment Cultural Relativism is a consequence of natural historical development, it is a job which could n’t be avoided.


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