Universality and Particularity: Why Universalism Should be the Standard for Human Rights

Authors: Olalekan Moyosore Lalude, Nsongurua Udombana Published date: 01-03-2022 Status: Published

The inclination of humans towards self-preservation is the pivot for the universalist notion of human rights and a good starting point of what humans do and desire. What defines good is where the criticism by particularist jurisprudence halts the conclusion of universality. This article aims to resolve the question whether universalism should be the standard for human rights. Using qualitative data analysis, the arguments of the universalists and the particularists on the human rights discourse are examined. A deductive content analysis was applied on a set of data from treaties, declarations, internet sources, and journal articles, arguing that both worldviews failed to address some fundamental issues related to human rights. It is argued that the universality notion of human rights has a better operational value than the particularity perspective, since universality encourages a convergence of purpose which makes for determinable standards within the international law system. The article concludes that the universalist notion of human rights is important to a beneficial agenda of open societies, where governments would be accountable to their citizens, and where people would be able to express themselves without fear of oppression.

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Corresponding author. Olalekan Moyosore Lalude: lalude0368@pg.babcock.edu.ng

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