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Inherent dignity, Human rights, Moral philosophy, Sacredness of human beings, Normative order


In the midst of the countless, grotesque inhumanities of the twentieth century, however, there is a heartening story, amply recounted elsewhere: the emergence, in international law, of the morality of human rights. The morality of human rights is not new; in one or another version, the morality is very old. But the emergence of morality in international law, in the period since the end of World War II, is a profoundly important development.

The twentieth century, therefore, was not only the dark and bloody time; the second half of the twentieth century was also the time in which a growing number of human beings the world over responded to the savage horrors of the twentieth century by affirming the morality of human rights. The emergence of the morality of human rights makes the moral landscape of the twentieth century a touch less bleak. As it has emerged in international law, what does the morality of human rights hold?

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Emory Law Journal