Domestic Violence and Rape - Domestic Violence and Rape...

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Domestic Violence and Rape Sally Engle Merry, “Rights Talk and the Experience of Law: Implementing Women’s Human Rights to Protection from Violence,” and Susan Estrich, “Rape What Are Rights? Definition: Rights are practices that are required, prohibited, or otherwise regulated within the context of relationships governed by law. Rights are legal entitlements . Kinds of rights: positive rights (to something), negative rights (to be free from something); political and civil (how state should rule and treat people), social, economic and cultural (entitlements to social goods and opportunities) What do rights do? Purpose: Rights laws regulate relationships to establish and protect legal claims, benefits, protections, and opportunities that constitute a specific right, and to prevent and prohibit harms and deprivations that constitute violations. Role of the State Legislation: Laws are made and changed in state institutions Enforcement: States have the authority and obligation to enforce laws and punish violators, sometimes termed a monopoly on legitimate violence. State agents enforce the laws (police, judges, prosecutors). State-society relations: People’s rights are dependent on the state to promulgate laws and a dedicated commitment by state institutions to enforce them Legal ideology and hegemony: Different governments embody and promote different prevailing ideas about what is “right” (deriving from context-specific history, politics, demographics, geography, etc) Rights are both markers and means of social change
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