Principles for the law of peoples

Journal of Ethics 11 (2):161 - 175 (2007)
In The Law of Peoples John Rawls gives a list of eight principles for the law of peoples. I argue that the force of the principles depends in large part upon their being lexically ordered, and I attempt such an ordering. However, the lexically ordered list makes it clear that the duty of non-intervention obtains only after the duty to honor human rights is satisfied. Also, I point to certain “practical” difficulties with intervention on behalf of human rights. Rawls writes that additional principles are needed, and I make two suggestions. I conclude that the problems arising from intervention and the need for additional principles show that the “second Original Position” is like the first Original Position: both involve, Rawls notwithstanding, the selection and ordering of principles of justice.
Keywords collective responsibility  human rights  Immanuel Kant  intervention  John Rawls  lexical ordering  peoples  principles
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DOI 10.2307/20728501
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