UofT Law faculty authors: 

Patrick Macklem “Positivism and Practice Beyond Sovereignty.” (2017) 67(4) UTLJ 637–654.


This Reply engages with three topics raised in the essays in this special issue on The Sovereignty of Human Rights. The first relates to the book’s enlistment of international legal positivism as a defining feature of what constitutes a human right in international law. The second is the role that practice plays in the account that it offers of the normative mission of human rights in international law – namely, that human rights act as legal instruments that mitigate some of the pathologies associated with how international law organizes global politics into an international legal order. The third inquires into the role that human rights play beyond sovereignty – specifically, in relation to non-state actors such as multinational corporations and international economic institutions.