Which Foundation for Human Rights?


  • Francesco Viola University of Palermo
  • Isabel Trujillo University of Palermo


Human Rights, Legal practice, International Community, Jus gentium


The article argues the thesis according to which the problem of the foundation of human rights is not well formulated in the classic debate on it. The reason is that there are different kinds of foundations, depending on the different concepts of human rights, but also in consideration of the different aspects of their practice. The question is then which foundation fits with a notion of human rights as a legal and social practice. The second part is dedicated to the analysis of the idea that the practice of human rights is part of the current jus gentium. It aims at showing the implications of that relationship in terms of their appropriate legal grounds.

Author Biographies

Francesco Viola, University of Palermo

Emeritus of Legal Philosophy, founder of the Ph.D. in Human Rights, University of Palermo (Italy).

Isabel Trujillo, University of Palermo

Full Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Palermo, Ph.D. in Legal Philosophy and Political Philosophy by the University of Rome La Sapienza.






Philosophy of Human Rights