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Title: Security and the right to security of person
Author: Powell, Rhonda L.
ISNI:       0000 0000 7352 8739
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis inquires into the meaning of the right to security of person. This right is found in many international, regional and domestic human rights instruments. However, academic discourse reveals disagreement about the meaning of the right. The thesis first considers case law from the European Convention on Human Rights, the South African Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter. The analysis shows that courts too disagree about the meaning of the right to security of person. The thesis then takes a theoretical approach to understanding the meaning of the right. It is argued that the concept of ‘security’ establishes that the right imposes both positive and negative duties but that ‘security’ does not determine which interests are protected by the right. For this, we need consider the meaning of the ‘person’. The notion of personhood as understood in the ‘capabilities approach’ of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum is then introduced. It is suggested that this theory could be used to identify the interests protected by the right. Next, the theoretical developments are applied to the legal context in order to illustrate the variety of interests the right to security of person would protect and the type of duties it would impose. As a result, it is argued that the idea of ‘security of person’ is too broad to form the subject matter of an individual legal right. This raises a question over the relationship between security of person and human rights law. It is proposed that instead of recognising an individual legal right to security of person, human rights law as a whole could be seen as a mechanism to secure the person, the capabilities approach determining what it takes to fulfil a right and thereby secure the person.
Supervisor: Galligan, Denis ; Lazarus, Liora Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ethics and philosophy of law ; Civil Rights ; Human security ; Development economics ; Law ; Comparative Law ; Legal philosophy ; Social justice ; security ; right to security ; human rights ; personhood ; capabilities approach ; socio-economic rights