Critical legal scholars have been at the forefront of the critique of human rights in recent years, an indicator that people cannot continue approaching human rights in their liberal form. These critical legal scholars focus on reworking the shortcomings of human rights. The panel discussions held by the legal scholars, including Martha Minow, Jennifer Gordon, Kathleen Sullivan, Renee Landers, and Linda Greenhouse; demonstrate how common the critique of human rights has become. The paper examines the grounds on which critical legal scholars critique human rights.
First, critical legal scholars base their arguments on the association of human rights with Western and gendered parameters of humanity that these rights enforce as the grounds to critique human rights. According to one panellist, Renee Landers, rights associated with education issues in the country have for a long time reinforced white privilege (Harvard University, 2012). It calls for a critique of these rights to ensure that minorities in the country are considered when it comes to education matters.
Secondly, critical legal scholars base their critique of human rights on the ground that consistent litigation allows people to use a language of reason to initiate change. According to Kathleen Sullivan, people need to use litigation to address human rights issues because the language used in courts plays a vital role in enabling dialogue about these issues (Harvard University, 2012). She believes that courts are the ideal places to initiate social changes; particularly, human rights issues, because the reasonable language spoken there that considers rights and not interests.
In conclusion, legal scholars base their critique of human rights on the role that language of reason, which is used in courts, plays in justifying a particular line of thought about human rights. Also, they base their arguments on the association of human rights with Western and gendered parameters of humanity that these rights enforce as the grounds to critique human rights.
Harvard University. (2012). From Front Lines to High Courts: The Law and Social Change || Radcliffe Institute. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-zu9c7WLRc&list=PLEED4D6EB8CF79EA0