Debate over the universality of human rights has typically focused on the
extent to which international human rights law differs from local cultural practices
and has generally sought to resolve these differences in favor of the international
paradigm. Less attention, however, has been given to arguments that the
international human rights paradigm may have something to learn from non-
Western legal systems. This Article focuses on one such area: the
conceptualization of individual duties to the community. In conventional human
rights law, rights are explicit, while corresponding duties are often implicit,
controversial, and poorly theorized. In contrast, the Islamic legal tradition offers a
sophisticated paradigm of common ideals grounded in individual duties. The
Article argues that a reconciliation of the rights-based and duties-based paradigms
is both possible and necessary to render justiciable third generation "solidarity"
rights, such as the right to development, the right to a healthy environment, and
the right to peace.
"Third Generation Rights: What Islamic Law Can Teach the International Human Rights Movement,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol8/iss1/2