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 next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is now closed. Successful applicants have been notified. You can access the preliminary program via the ICON•S HUB.
All panelists had register until June 10, 2021.
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