Right to life: Life itself is not enough to protect life

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Selim Reza


This article basically delineates regarding source and scope of Human Rights. The fountainhead of human rights as we know them
today is not easily determined rather it is a concept that has been relentlessly developing right through the human past. It has been
attached to the laws, civilization and religions all through the times. May be this rights are evolving through the writings of Greek and
Roman philosophers until the Renaissance. But the derivation of natural law theory urged a lot to get organized shape of human
rights to the medieval periods though there remain in numbers of critics towards natural law theory. Then the positivist ideology was
acutely articulated in various instruments that domestically emphasized and augmented for human dignity and justice. So the 19th century and modern times noticed various revolutions and the creations of ILO and League of Nations to soothe and protect the
human dignity. But these organizations gained less than expected. Furthermore the atrocity of Second World War caused to rethink for
international framework to serve and uphold the human dignity and justice. And that is why UN Charter, UDHR, like other regional instruments made to ensure human dignity and equality of all without any discrimination though aftermath of this we have got two
separate document, only the reason of ideology by ignoring the indivisibility and interrelatedness of human rights, to accomplish the aspiration of people. So International Bill of Rights and Other regional Human rights instruments laid downs a lot of rights of which a few number of grundnorm rights has been crystallized and these grundnorms rights has acquired the status of jus cogens from which no derogation is allowed by the states or non-state actors. Among these core rights, right to life shall be deemed to be nucleus of all other rights. Thus, it is matter of intellectual irony that, in spite of the widespread endorsement of the idea of right to life in social and political consciousness of modern society, there is no consensus on the nature and character of its most successful and thematic consideration regarding positive core content ,component and multi- layered dimensions of right to life i.e. right to adequate standard of living meaning food, shelter, health, education, environment, etc will be justiciable under the lexis of right to life or not. Or just the
restrictive meaning of right to life includes the right not to be killed by the states or third parties. The obligation of state parties abstains
from killings (respect), refrains others from killings (protect), is sufficient to protect the core content of right to life? Whether the
abstention of states from killings preserves whole facets of right to life or covers only one dimension of right to life or further initiation
is incumbent on states to fulfill (i.e. to promote, to facilitate, to provide) right to life? If it is then what will be the approach towards
fulfilling right to life of judiciary (i.e. systematic and conditional approach)? Or complete justifiability is always expectant from the courts by considering the socio-economic scenario of the country? Or only strong enforcement mechanism amounts to strong rights
corresponding entitlements and fulfillment. To look upon the other facets of right to life, it is strongly argued that violation of socio-
economic rights entails infringement of civil and political rights too. Civil and political rights cannot be realized without realizing socio-
economic rights as all human rights are indivisible and interdependent. For example, the Indian ,South-African and even the Bangladeshi Supreme Court has established in many cases that right to life must include right to livelihood as no person can live without the means of living, that is, the means of livelihood. The Courts further held that the right to health must form part of the right to life since health “is the nucleus of all activities of life” and without it “everything crumbles.

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How to Cite
Selim Reza. (2021). Right to life: Life itself is not enough to protect life. BiLD Law Journal, 2(1), 115–124. Retrieved from https://bildbd.com/index.php/blj/article/view/86