Law and Philosophy

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 389–418 | Cite as

The Indivisibility of Human Rights

  • Ariel ZylbermanEmail author


This article defends a novel, normative conception of the indivisibility of human rights. Human rights are indivisible because normative commitment to one mutually entails normative commitment to another. The normative conception enables us to defend three important theoretical and practical corollaries. First, as a conceptual thesis normative indivisibility lets us see how human rights constitute a unified system not liable to the typical counter-examples to indivisibility as mutual indispensability. Second, as a dialectical thesis, normative indivisibility can support linkage arguments in defense of controversial human rights. And third, as a political thesis, normative indivisibility can show why the political thesis of indivisibility means that states lack discretion to ‘pick and choose’ which human rights to implement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law, Department of PhilosophyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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