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Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Individual rights

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Rights, Harms, And Duties: A Response To Justice For Hedgehogs, Robin West Jan 2010

Rights, Harms, And Duties: A Response To Justice For Hedgehogs, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author responds to the three jurisprudential positions that Ronald Dworkin discusses in his book--albeit briefly--so as to integrate them into his hedgehoggian program. The first is that we should think of rights as political trumps, such that the individual liberty protected by the right, and hence the behavior protected by the right, trumps in importance and in effect, both in law and in popular imaginings, the various collective goals with which the right might be in conflict. Second, we should think about our collective life, and the principles that should guide it, through the lens of the rights of ...


Imagining Justice, Robin West Jan 2000

Imagining Justice, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

As we approach the new century and the new millennium, those of us who are legal professionals in liberal capitalist democracies need to drastically improve our practices of law if we are to bring those practices in line with our professed ideals. The commodification and marketing of legal services, for example, combined with a nearly blind commitment to overly combative advocacy, puts legal assistance beyond the means of large segments of the public, severely undercutting our commitment to equality before the law. A different and perhaps harder question, however, is whether the ideals against which we judge our practices are ...


Is Progressive Constitutionalism Possible?, Robin West Apr 1999

Is Progressive Constitutionalism Possible?, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Progressivism is in part a particular moral and political response to the sadness of lesser lives, lives unnecessarily diminished by economic, psychic and physical insecurity in the midst of a society or world that offers plenty. This insecurity is unjust and should end; the suffering should be alleviated, and those lives should be enriched. To do so must be one of the goals of a morally just or justifiable state. Not all suffering and not all lesser lives, of course, give rise to such a response. The suffering attendant to accident, disease, war and happenstance is neither entirely chargeable to ...