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Legal Rules and Human Rights - Book Report/Review Example

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The Nazi regime in Germany that led to the Second World War and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's in the U.S. stand as examples of how social and political perspectives interact with each other. In the former, the actions of the regime both internally and externally were justified by legal and political rule that gave justification to social segregation, war and even in principle, the holocaust…
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Legal Rules and Human Rights

Download file to see previous pages... This suggests that there is a need to go beyond the results of Adolf Hitler's rule in terms of the impact of the Second World War but also to consider how he was given the legal and political duress to do so. Peak (2006) reflects that one of the main concerns of legal and justice programs is to develop systems that support social and civil rights. However, he also recognizes the difficulty in recognizing what constitutes the interest of the public, traditions and human rights. Furthermore, any such effort requires acceptance that such provisions are against morality or justice. Moreover, it requires an active commitment to ensure that the rule of law is not used to justify actions that deter human and civil rights.
According to Stychin and Mulcahy (2007), the establishment of legislation, aside from creating legitimacy for an action, also protects the action from legal consequences even if they interfere with civil or natural rights. In contemporary legal and judicial systems, there is an assumption of the law to take precedence. The only avenue in such settings otherwise is through the order of appeals or higher courts. Thus, the provision or availability of legal justification also implies the political support or justification of the action. At the same time, as illustrated in King's illustration of the right of African Americans to civil liberties, there is an assumption that the public can hold its political institutions accountable. "architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir" (King, 1963b)
This has significant implications to socio-political systems. Pattison and Evans (2006, p. 712) point out that public policies such as laws, "fundamentally change the relationships between citizens and their careers and among careers and the law and the state". This also implies that the law, which is separate from the system itself since it is defined by legislature, is the overriding component in the system (Unger, 1977). Thus, the law may not reflect what is just or equitable but more evidently political perspective of the state. This then requires active action to change and implement legislation through reform or social movements (Myers, 1999).

Case in Point: Germany
Tamanaha (20040 points out the opinion that Hitler and the war would have been avoided altogether if legal and political justification were not established. Altheide (2006) reflects that the precedence of political motivation over social ones in legislation can be seen in the development of anti-terrorism and security legislation in response to the September 11th attacks on the U.S. though many of the provisions directly contravene privacy rights, the justification that national security takes precedence creates the means by which privacy can be denied. Thus, Germany justified its extraterritorial actions as its duress to bring back the status of the country and reform Europe which resulted in the World War II. Furthermore, at the end of the war, it was necessary to convene an international court of justice to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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