JUSTICE - No. 71

11 Spring 2024 distributed rights are included in our list.) We then looked at the set of these rights found in each constitution adopted before and after 1948, and compared it with the list in the UDHR. The average level of similarity after 1948 was much higher than before, suggesting that the UDHR had formed something of a template for constitutionmakers. We also looked at the overall popularity of each individual right. Those rights which had been included in the UDHR in 1948 had much higher levels of popularity thereafter, whereas rights left out of the document did not increase in popularity. Some of these rights are enforced in some constitutions, which implies that the UDHR enforcement works best when it is instantiated in national constitutional orders. In short, the age of rights has been one of expanding cosmopolitanism, but it has been one that has taken life through national constitutions. These documents have included enforcement machinery, such as human rights commissions and national constitutional courts, that in decent societies can advance the promise of the UDHR. Universalism requires particularist commitments to be fully effectuated. It is a commonplace, of course, that rights remain underenforced in our deeply broken world. The last year saw the biggest increase in the number of refugees in history, to 36 million worldwide. Perhaps twice that many are internally displaced, as war rages in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and of course Israel and Gaza. Even in rich democracies we struggle to deliver fully on the rights promised in constitutions. Without the cosmopolitan aspirations laid out in the Universal Declaration we would be even worse off. We cannot reject cosmopolitanism or particularism in making a better world. Let me close by returning to Tom Buergenthal. When I think of Tom, and I think of this building, I realize that we are all bricks in the wall of history. One thing about Tom was his relentless optimism: “The task ahead is to strengthen these tools, not to despair, and to never believe that mankind is incapable of creating a world in which our grandchildren and their descendants can live in peace and enjoy the human rights that were denied to so many of my generation.” n Tom Ginsburg is the Leo Spitz Distinguished Service Professor of International Law at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as Faculty Director for the Forum on Free Inquiry and Expression. He holds B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, and currently co-directs the Comparative Constitutions Project, which catalogues the world’s constitutions since 1789. His latest book is Democracies and International Law, winner of Best Book Prizes from the American Branch of the International Law Association and the American Society for International Law. He is the author or editor of over 25 other books, including How to Save a Constitutional Democracy (with Aziz Huq), winner of the Best Book Prize from the International Society for Constitutional Law; The Endurance of National Constitutions, and Judicial Review in New Democracies, the latter two both winning best book awards from the American Political Science Association. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before entering law teaching, he served as a legal advisor at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague, and currently serves as a senior advisor on Constitution Building to International IDEA.

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