"Human rights": their acceptance in the doctrine of natural law by Javier Hervada


  • Cristóbal Orrego Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile




natural right, human rights, Michel Villey, Javier Hervada


The paper presents the way in which Javier Hervada, unlike Michel Villey, accepts the language and the concept of “human rights”. It is underscored the fact, first, that the modern philosophy of human rights has a negative connotation as opposed to the classical legal thinking on natural law and natural right. Secondly, the paper contends that Hervada, notwithstanding his reliance on a version of classical legal realism similar to Villey’s, accepts a conception of subjective rights subordinated to the central place of ius understood as ipsa res iusta. In the end, the paper explains how Javier Hervada receives the modern language of human rights, seemingly in order to account for the use of that language by the Church’s Magisterium, while at the same time he maintains that the human rights of the declarations of rights correspond only in part to the true natural right.