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General questions of human rights

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  1. General questions of human rights Elements Origin of human rights System of human rights Restriction of human rights

  2. 1. Elements 1.1. Human rights (Menschenrechte) • rights are due to people by virtue of human nature • the Republic of Hungary only recognizes and respects, but does NOT create • everyone has equal human rights • moral, enjoyment of rights, which are enforcablein legal way • moral rights being in Constitution <> moral requirements besides law (Waldron, Sajó); human claims, humanitarian efforts

  3. 1.2. Fundamental rights(Grundrechte) • In constitutions • In international treaties enumerated rigths 1.3. Constitutional rights • Synonym of fundamental rights • + non-human rights in Constitutions (rights of representatives) 1.4. Civil rights • Political rights of participation (for example suffrage) • Duties of citizens (for example military service)

  4. 2. Origin of human rights 2.1. Tenet of natural law Higher norms > natural, divine origin, eternal moral acts • Order defined by God > Aquinói Szent Tamás • Command of human mind > Hugo Grotius • State is based on contract > Hobbes: Leviatán • Social contract: defence of life, liberty, property > Locke: restricted government; Montesquieu: „power against power” • Priority of public purposes, „volonté generale” general will” > Rousseau The end of the 18th century- the beginning of the 19th century: human rights=innate rights

  5. 2.2.Utilitarianism • Consequence-principled attitude • Natural rights = fiction which one can only believe in • Burke: „historical utilitarianism” • Bentham: „happiness of most people” <> Declaration: natural rights = „absurdity going on stilts”, no universality: dictate of western civilization • J.S. Mill: prevention of damage of another • Sajó András: we can get to verification of individual freedom > at long term it is going to be worse for everybody; public welfare precedes human rights; as many sociaty as many kinds of human rights > no universality

  6. 2.3.Kantian legal philosophy Moral basis • Kant: freedom is postulate of mind > categorical imperative: respect of human dignity; legal system is means of liberty • Ronald Dworkin: individual constitutional rights like strong rights > for their restriction public welfare is insufficient • Hart: at least one natural moral right: everbody has the equal right to be free • Feinberg: such a world where there’re human rights is safer and more fair

  7. 3. System of human rights 3.1. Generations of human rights First generation (18th century): freedom • Negative rights > civil rights • Personal (civil) • Political: rights of participation (direct, indirect, petition) Second generation (19th century): equality • Positive rights > ECOSOC • Economic: right to labour, Trade Union, strike, property • Social: social security service, health service, right to home • Cultural: education, arts, science • Non-human rights > no moral basic • Aims of the state unforced before courts

  8. Third generation (20th century): fraternity, solidarity • global problems • the people of developing world have the right to self-determination, development, share in common heritage • failure of states: peace, healthy environment, humanitarian aid • reproduction right: „rights of future generations”, information technology

  9. 3.2. Groups of fundamental rights In relation of state and individual: Defensive rigths: status negativus (G. Jellinek) • state, feature, condition (life, corporal integrity, privacy, residence) of person • Legal position (property) • Activity (assembly, opinion) Rights of participation: status activus • Political (direct, indirect) • In wider meaning: assembly, opinion, association + freedom of information

  10. Service rights: status pozitivus • For real service> poverty minimum • Normative action > public service broadcasting, control of balance In civil law relations> objective side of rights = institutional protection

  11. 4. Restriction of human rights Depends on the origin: utilitarianism <>moral (for example torture of terrorist) 4.1. Absolute rights • human treatment of person > prohibition of torture, slavery, forced labour • capital punishment: 1972, 1976 USA; 1990 Hungary • guaranties of criminal law > presumption of innocence, prohibition of retroactive justice in the criminal legislation • restriction in emergency situation

  12. 4.2. Hierarchy of rights • US SC: freedom of expression • BVerfG: Menschenwürde • EJEB: right to life, freedom of expression • Constitutional Court of the Republic of Hungary: 1. Right to life and human dignity > DECISION 23/1990 AB 2. freedom of expression > DECISION 30/1992 AB 4.3. Matters of form • amendment of Constitution • regulation by Parliamentary acts

  13. 4.4. Matters of contents Aim: • Defence of rights of another • Institutional protection (abortion, state owned media) • Aims of states, „public interest” 4.5. The scope of restriction • US SC: pressing social need + proportionality • BVerfG: Verhältnismäßigkeit > suitability, necessity • Constitutional Court of the Republic of Hungary: * proportionality-necessity > DECISION 2/1990 AB, DECISION 20/1990 AB * more permissive test: rationality > freedom of contracting, property, discriminatio nof non-basic rights

  14. Thank you for your attention!