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It is particularly opportune that this centenary meeting of the International Law Association should focus attention upon the protection of human rights at a time when it is increasingly recognized that there is a human rights dimension to every human interaction and every authoritative decision. The task that I propose for myself in our program, in supplement to the many important statements about particular authoritative prescriptions and about "structures or institutional arrangements" designed better to promote and protect human rights, is that of inquiring into the possibilities of improving our intellectual procedures for the detailed clarification and specification of the substantive content of human rights in specific instances of application. The best formulated prescriptions may be but illusion, and the best designed structures or institutional arrangements may be but castles upon the sands, if the persons making important community decisions do not understand the basic purposes of the prescriptions and structures and how to relate such purposes to specific instances of choice.
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