Human Rights as a Basis for Reevaluating and Reconstructing the Law

1ste editie 2016

Arnaud Hoc, Stéphanie Wattier, Geoffrey Willems

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Human rights law was first asserted in the context of the emancipation of the American colonies and the overthrowing of the French monarchy. It was then immediately embodied in declarations of individual rights in order to impose checks upon governmental power. These rights were reaffirmed and internationalised after the world conflicts which marked the 20th century and provide both the foundation of democracy and a bulwark against its excesses.
Since the Enlightenment, human rights have been considered as the source of the State’s legitimacy. However, their universal affirmation in 1948 and their subsequent embodiment in national constitutions marks the beginning of a spectacular evolution rendering them the main mode of expression for social and political demands and a common denominator in legal systems in contemporary democracies. In this way, they act as a bridge between culture, politics and law and a hinge between different legal systems.

The spectacular impact of human rights on all areas of the law has provoked contrasting reactions: some denounce it as risking the disintegration of the law; others rather insist upon its reconstructive potential. Yet in every instance, human rights are doubtless “one of the main features of postmodernity” and the “energy of our societies” (Douzinas). From a substantive point of view, they constitute the “main yardstick for public action” and “the organising norm of collective consciousness” (Ost and van de Kerchove). At the same time, from a formal perspective, they can be seen as a new “lingua franca” destined to become the vehicle for a global dialogue (Raz).

The 4th ACCA Conference took place in Louvain-la-Neuve and aimed to contribute to the debate on human rights as the basis for the hypothetical reevaluation and/or reconstruction of the law. During the morning session, several speakers (academics or/and practitioners specialising in human rights) offered general presentations on this topic. In the afternoon session, participants had the opportunity to take part in workshops dedicated to specific topics :

I. Human Rights and relationships between legal systems ;
II. Human Rights and procedural law ;
III. Human Rights and values ;
IV. Human Rights and Information Society ;
V. Human Rights and Investment ;
VI. Human Rights and Public Policy.

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Korte inhoud

Introduction – Human Rights as a Basis for Reevaluating and Reconstructing the Law

1st WORKSHOP – Human rights and relationships between legal systems

2nd WORKSHOP – Human Rights and procedural law

3rd WORSHOP – Human Rights and values

4th WORKSHOP – Human Rights and Information Society

5th WORKSHOP – Human Rights and Investment

6th WORKSHOP – Human Rights and Public Policy


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Onder de redactie van

  • Arnaud Hoc
  • Stéphanie Wattier
  • Geoffrey Willems







Aantal pagina's



mei 2016

Naam van de collectie

Collection du Centre des droits de l'homme de l'Université catholique de Louvain




861 g
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