An Introduction to the History of International Human Rights Law

Dinah L. Shelton
2007 Social Science Research Network  
Preface: The extensive legal protection for human rights that currently exists in national, regional and international law is the product of millennia of struggle by individuals concerned with human justice and well-being. These visionaries have provided inspiration and guidance, some of them acting out of religious belief and duty, others out of compassion or a sense of responsibility. Perhaps like Edmund Burke they believed that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men
more » ... l is that good men [and women] do nothing." Or, like Margaret Mead they "d[id] not make the mistake of thinking that concerned people cannot change the world; it is the only thing that ever has." This short course cannot present a detailed history of all the intellectual, cultural, and legal developments that have evolved and merged into the current international system for the protection of human rights. It does, however, attempt to indicate the principal currents, events and individuals who contributed to the present human rights era.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1010489 fatcat:fo3j5r4d4nfyrovnxtm2y4pzmm