Excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Global Studies (2012) published by SAGE Publications Inc. “Global Justice and Legal Issues”
The concept of global justice is premised on the belief that all poeple are entitled to certain fundamental human rights solely by virtue of being members of the human community. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was a seminal step toward this vision; for the first time, states agreed to uphold the fundamental rights and liberties of their citizens. Enforcement of these human rights guarantees, however, has been severly constrained by the nearly impregnable doctrine of state sovereignty. International law, traditionally limited to regularting behavior between states and not between individuals and a state, reinforced this state-centric view of human rights. This article was written by Janet Benshoof for the Encyclopedia of Global Studies in 2012.