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Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon$
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James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640706

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640706.001.0001

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A Human Right to a Fair Criminal Law

A Human Right to a Fair Criminal Law

Chapter:
(p.103) 7 A Human Right to a Fair Criminal Law
Source:
Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon
Author(s):

Victor Tadros

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640706.003.0018

This chapter investigates whether there is a human right to a fair criminal law. It considers three different ideas of a human right. A positivist idea indicates that the human rights that we have are those that have been institutionalised. An institutional idea indicates that the human rights that we have are those that we ought to institutionalise under certain (perhaps more ideal) conditions. A moral idea of human rights indicates that we have a human right not to be treated in ways that imply that we lack the status as morally autonomous human beings. In affirming this last idea we recognise that we have human rights that ought not to be institutionalised even under more ideal social and political conditions.

Keywords:   human rights, fair criminal law, institutions, punishment

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