“Living law” and human rights as a value-based coordinate system

Keywords: human rights, “living law”, sociology of law, social values, public opinion, civic engagement


The article considers the concept of human rights in terms of sociology of law. The modernization and expansion of the interpretation
of human rights in the context of the sociological approach are emphasized. It is noted that the term “human rights” is quite comp -
lex, its semantic meaning is multifaceted, it can be interpreted as philosophical, as political (if demonstrated, for example, as an object
of political will), as legal (if positioned, for example, as a subject of judicial protection), and as sociological (if studied as a social phenomenon
by means of public opinion). From the sociological point of view, the understanding of the term “human rights” encompasses
several aspects expanding its content. Firstly, the main purpose of human rights is to ensure the individual’s dignity, the conditions for
the realization of his or her rights, including: a) the system of international and national norms enshrining the individual’s status, the
rules of relations between individuals and between an individual and a state; b) a social opportunity provided by a norm and protected
by the state and belonging to a specific subject. Secondly, human rights, along with other sociological terms and categories, are integrated
into sociology as they are directly and inextricably linked to various aspects of public life.
It is emphasized that without ensuring the rights and freedoms of all social strata and groups, it is impossible to create a fullfledged
democratic system. At the same time, it is through the structures and institutions of civil society that the basic rights and freedoms
of all citizens are ensured, including those who are under investigation, serving sentences or having been declared incompetent
due to any reason.
It is concluded that human rights in its sociological interpretation are a phenomenon integrated in society, which has its own
expressed social nature, internal and external subject relations and interdependence of various aspects; human rights belong to everyone,
and their ensuring serves as a guarantee for socially active behavior. From the sociological point of view, this synthesis of nume -
rous aspects of the concept of human rights allows proposing the concept of human rights, according to which they are the object of
sociological study of reality, its integral component.


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How to Cite
Podorozhna, T., & Kotukha, O. (2020). “Living law” and human rights as a value-based coordinate system. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, 1(3), 30-34. https://doi.org/10.36695/2219-5521.3.2020.03
State and law theory and history. Philosophy of law