Integrating Cultural Concerns in the Interpretation of Traditional Individual Rights: Lessons from the International Human Rights Jurisprudence

  • Julie Ringelheim


This chapter proposes to explore the different ways in which cultural concerns can permeate the interpretation of classical civil and political rights, thus enabling them to contribute to ensure respect for cultural differences. Through the analysis of a sample of cases drawn from the jurisprudence of two major international human rights institutions, namely the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the paper first highlights the diverse modalities through which cultural considerations can impact on human rights’ interpretation. As discussed in the second part of the chapter, these observations shed new light on the relation between classical individual rights and minority rights: rather than forming a separate category of rights, it is argued, the latter should be seen as deriving from and extending the former.


Family Life European Convention National Minority Advisory Opinion Reasonable Justification 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de philosophie du droitUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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