The banality of humanity (as an absolute) : a response to Frédéric Mégret
The limits of human rights
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2019
This chapter is a comment on a reflection by Frédéric Mégret on the limits of the laws of war. It proposes a jurisprudence of limits that focuses less on absolute ideals but on the compromising and enabling space ‘in-between’ these absolutes. Relying on Hannah Arendt’s views on different conceptions of humanity, the comment critically engages with a thinking in terms of inherent opposing interests and oscillations between them. A conception of limits as reproducing inherent absolutes is disabling and passive. Instead, limits can be understood as facilitating a space that enables us to judge and to act, also through compromise. International humanitarian law and international human rights law, perhaps more than other areas of international law, depend on preserving and actively seeking this politically relevant space.
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