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20 - Common Goods, Group Rights, and Human Rights

from Part IV - The Human Person, Political Community, and Rule of Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 November 2022

Tom Angier
Affiliation:
University of Cape Town
Iain T. Benson
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Australia
Mark D. Retter
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

This chapter argues that an adequate account of group rights requires an embedded understanding of moral duties and rights within the context of common action for a common good. Drawing from Alasdair MacIntyre, I explain why group agency for a common good, through various social practices, grounds a framework of natural justice with correlative duties and rights, including various group moral rights. This account of natural justice is completed by an appeal to the common agency of an institutionalised political community for a political common good. I argue that human rights are a subset of moral rights, which ‘cry out’ as a matter of justice for political enforcement or realisation, whether against violations of fundamental natural law precepts or dereliction of core political responsibilities. These include group rights where the protected aspects of personal human flourishing are pursued through the common action of groups, such as families, trade unions, religious communities, and political communities. Moreover, group rights are essential to human rights – human rights presuppose the group moral right of political authority to administer justice for the common good.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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