Human goods and human rights law

Date & time
12–1pm Wednesday 27 April 2022


Dr Grégoire Webber
Ashley Rogge
6125 5375
ANU College of Law Visitor Seminar

Part of the ANU College of Law Visitors Seminar Series series

Visitors Seminar Series: Dr Grégoire Webber

In this seminar, Dr Grégoire Webber discusses his paper 'Human goods and human rights law'.

The category of ‘human rights law’ is sometimes limited to bills and charters of rights on the model of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the case law of courts interpreting and applying these legal measures. In an effort to expand the category of human rights law, I explore the thought that the measures that realise human rights in the law are the everyday, unremarkable measures that make up the full corpus of legal materials directing what may, must, and must not be done. The argument explores how all sound positive law finds its source in human goods through one of two modes of derivation: deduction or specification. These are the same two modes of positive law’s derivation from natural law in the thought of Aquinas, for the reach of human rights law is more or less coextensive with the reach of positive law and the human goods from which are derived human rights law are the same human goods from which are derived natural law’s practical principles and precepts.


  • Dr Grégoire Webber »

    Dr Grégoire Webber

    Grégoire Webber is Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law at Queen’s University, where his is cross-appointed to the Department of Philosophy, and is Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research is in the areas of human rights, public law, and philosophy of law and he is the author of The Negotiable Constitution, joint author of Legislated Rights, and joint editor of Constitutional Dialogue and Proportionality and the Rule of Law, all published by Cambridge University Press. 

    Grégoire was previously law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, senior policy advisor with the Privy Council Office, and Legal Affairs Advisor to the Attorney General of Canada and is currently legal agent of the Department of Justice. He is joint founder and Executive Director of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, which provides free advocacy advice to counsel appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. For his role in the Institute, he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada.

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