The ECtHR sometimes relies on a notion of European consensus. Reasons why consensus is seen as important include values of identity, and democratic decision making. The question is to what extent relying on consensus is justified. I propose to understand the debate on the universality of international human rights as a relevantly similar concern about consensus, bringing the two areas together to illustrate that consensus is limited in at least one way: it is not what gives human rights normative weight. First, I explore what universality entails, and why it does not speak to the normative force of human rights. Second, I draw a parallel to the debate about consensus, arguing that consensus is – similarly – not what makes human rights valuable. A sketch of what kind of argument would do the work consensus and universality aspire to do concludes.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S