Establishment and Revision of Rights

The establishment and revision of rights in each country is usually a political negotiation and is sometimes embodied in the law.

Human rights are negotiated as national entitlements for the population.  People’s differing moral views on the assignment of human rights tend to manifest themselves as political preferences.  Political systems vary in the extent to which they enable the population to influence its politicians and initiate meaningful negotiation (6.8.4), but all systems have to take some account of people’s political preferences.  The toppling of the French monarchy and aristocracy was accompanied by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen for example.

Politicians can negotiate on behalf of the people for the establishment and revision of rights in each country:

●  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Appendix 1) was politically negotiated; it could be renegotiated at the UN If there were pressure for change.

●  Some human rights which do not change rapidly, and for which coercive enforcement is thought appropriate, are embodied in the law.  These are agreed by a country’s legislature (5.1.3), which includes elected politicians in democratic countries and political appointees elsewhere.

●  Governments assign socio-economic rights ( by taking account of people’s moral/political preferences and the economic considerations (3.5.2). The levels of entitlement need regular review, to balance fairness and affordability.

As described in chapter 6, politicians represent the people they serve when negotiating on their behalf to reach agreements to assign Moral, Legal and Political rights and to decide how those rights are to be upheld.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/4244.htm