Human Rights Law and Personal Identity
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
This book explores the development and meaning of a right to personal identity which now exists in human rights law. The book questions how a person’s personal identity is reflected in human rights law, and what exactly this personal identity is which is accorded legal protection under human rights law. The book considers the issue from a theoretical as well as a a jurisprudential perspective, examining the provisions related the burgeoning right to personal identity contained in the UDHR, ICCPR, regional human rights treaties, in particular the ECHR, and the Human Rights Act in the UK.
The book looks at a number of issues including theories that explain how the person or self is incorporated into law and the legal framework, whether our personal identity can be said to be fixed or fluid and the legal protection available entitling us to keep information about ourselves private. The book analyses the connections between legal interpretations of personal identity and what personal identity means in different disciplines including philosophy, psychology, sociology, biology and neuroscience. The book shows how the legal framework is informed by philosophy and the rational view of the person. As there are different interpretations of what personal identity means, it argues that law is in danger of using a constraining interpretation of personal identity.
1. The Person Protected by Human Rights Law 2. Legal Personal Identity Rights 3. Fixed Identity: Self Realisation 4. Ever-changing Identity: Self Determination 5. Protection of Sensitive Personal Identity Information
Jill Marshall is a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University London, UK.