chapter  8
21 Pages

Basic rights and global justice: the problem of international coercion: Silviya Lechner

Charles Beitz articulated the problem of global justice three decades ago by asking ‘Do citizens of relatively affluent countries have obligations founded on justice to share their wealth with poorer people elsewhere?’.1 This chapter employs the philosophical literature on socio-economic justice (henceforth ‘global justice’) to explore this problem through the concept of basic rights.2 It asks which basic rights ought to be coercively imposed across state borders in the name of global justice.3 In taking up this question, part of the task will be to sketch out the contours of the relevant political structures that can sustain rights of this elementary sort globally in a world which is still dominated by states. Because international law is a ‘law of nations’ or law between states, my

human rights regime, as reflected in three key international legal documents – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).4