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A philosophy of human rights law in Nigeria: Focus on intersubjectivity and jural relations

Ikenga KE Oraegbunam


This study uses the philosophic to examine the intersubjectivity and the relational posture of human rights praxis in Nigeria as provided in the extant constitution. It finds out that a right, for instance, involves a system of relations in which there are three terms and a basis or foundation on which the relations are grounded.  Accordingly, there are identified four basic components of a right, namely, subject,  term, matter, and title. It is discovered that the subject of a right can only be a  person because he is obliged to guard the moral value of his being, fulfill himself by  voluntary observance of the law, and thus reach his last end. The term of a right must also be a person that is obliged to respect or fulfill the rights of another.  However, it is revealed that the matter of a right can never be another person ‘since in the exercise of any right the subject always subordinates the matter to himself or herself and uses it as a means to his or her own end’. Hence, a person cannot be subordinated to the interest of another to be used and consumed as a mere means for another’s benefit. The title of a right refers to the reason for which a particular concrete right exists, and establishes a connection between the subject and the matter of a right. The result of this study is that the harmony of the jural relations is often not realized in Nigeria today, giving rise to mal-development, in spite of constitutional demands. A reorientation is therefore advocated.

Key words: Human Rights, the Philosophic, Jural Relations, Intersubjectivity, Nigeria