Departmental Bulletin Paper 関係的権利論における応答の概念 : 「他者」としての子どもの人権論
Responsiveness in Relational Rights Theory

大西, 健司

16 ( 3 )  , pp.209 - 263 , 2017-11-10 , 一橋大学大学院法学研究科
This article investigates the concept of “responsiveness” in relational rights theory through both philosophical theories and legal arguments. There exists the notion, behind the theory of children’s rights as relational rights, that although children might be inferior to adults in autonomy and ability to make rational judgments, they are still the subjects of independent thought and recognition, and able to take exception to the status-quo, while adults should bear the responsibility to respond conscientiously to children’s opinions. However, the tendency of contemporary societies to see children as the property of the state and parents seeing their children as people they can mold to fit a certain image could impede the realization of children’s rights through denial of their initiative and independence. According to Ya’ir Ronen, an Israeli scholar of children’s law, the theory of “the Other” advocated by Emmanuel Levinas, a French scholar of phenomenology, is the most effective way to overcome the above-mentioned view of the child. The most distinctive feature of Levinas’ theory is that although it considers “the Other” as an absolute difference to self, it still recognizes a moment of a kind of ethical relationship between self and “the Other.” This article, inspects the significance of Levinas’ theory on the discourse of children’s rights as relational rights, and considers both the validity and the limitations in the legal context of the concept of “responsiveness” defined by Ronen as an attempt to approach the suffering of the child as “the Other” and give him/her protection that can meet his/her authentic needs.

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