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Law & Ethics of Human Rights

Editor-in-Chief: Stopler, Gila

Editorial Board: Benvenisti, Eyal / Cohen-Eliya, Moshe / Macedo, Stephen / Rosenblum, Nancy

CiteScore 2018: 0.19

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.118
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.225

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Volume 12, Issue 2


Dworkin’s Theory of Rights in the Age of Proportionality

Kai Möller
Published Online: 2018-11-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lehr-2018-0011


There is probably no conceptualization of rights more famous than Ronald Dworkin’s claim that they are “trumps.” This seems to stand in stark contrast to the dominant, proportionality-based strand of rights discourse, according to which rights, instead of trumping competing interests, ultimately have to be balanced against them. The goal of this article is to reconcile Dworkin’s work and proportionality and thereby make a contribution to our understanding of both. It offers a critical reconstruction of Dworkin’s theory of rights which does away with the misleading label of rights as “trumps” and shows that, far from being in conflict with proportionality, properly understood Dworkin’s work supports and supplements that doctrine and provides a much-needed account of its moral foundation as being about human dignity, freedom, and equality.

About the article

Published Online: 2018-11-29

Published in Print: 2018-11-27

Citation Information: The Law & Ethics of Human Rights, Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 281–299, ISSN (Online) 1938-2545, ISSN (Print) 2194-6531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lehr-2018-0011.

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