DOI: https://doi.org/10.18523/kmlpj189985.2019-5.59-81

Humanizing (Anti)Corruption: The Socio-Legal Values of a Human Rights-Based Approach to Corruption

Bruna de Castro e Silva

Abstract


This article intends to contribute to the current academic and policy debate on the values of determining whether a particular human rights violation was caused by a corrupt behavior; and to defend a human rights-based approach to corruption, based on its added socio-legal values. With this purpose, it analyzes and compares the legal reasoning and socio-legal dynamics of three human rights court cases involving and not involving corruption. By applying a directed content analysis combined with a socio-legal interpretative technique, the study explores and compares the rationality and the values addressed in both corrupt and non-corrupt cases. The results reveal that there are interconnected and mutually reinforcing socio-legal values in applying a human rights lens to combating corruption: (i) it is an improvement towards the justiciability of economic and social rights; (ii) it is a change of paradigm from the insufficient criminal approach to a focus on the social harm; and (iii) it is a more satisfactory approach to the overlapping harmful effects of corruption and inequality. The combination of these values can be used as a legal empowerment strategy, with a particular social accountability dimension, in order to strengthen the disadvantaged, and fight the encroachment caused by corruption on the enjoyment of human rights, especially economic and social rights.


Keywords


human rights-based approach, corruption, economic and social rights, justiciability, socio-legal values, social harm, inequality, legal empowerment

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