Interpretation of the value of human rights in the context of modern forms of legal understanding

Maryna A. Panforova, Оleksandra Ye. Prots, Vira O. Kachur, Khrystyna M. Moriak-Protopopova, Liudmyla S. Protosavitska


A long-term discussion about legal understanding has identified some main approaches to defining its concept, in particular among them: natural law and positive law. In this context, the question of the value of human rights in the context of these types of legal understanding is fundamental to legal science. Considering the above, inter alia, it is also important to find out whether human rights are natural or whether they require formal recognition and consolidation, being positive. The aim of the study is to consider the main features of the interpretation of the value of human rights in the context of natural and positive types of legal understanding, as well as to compare them. Consideration of the subject of research was carried out within the framework of an integrated approach, which involves a combination of such special methods as structural-functional, comparative-legal and formal-legal analysis methods. The article examines the two most popular types of legal understanding, in particular, natural law and legal positivism. According to positive law, human rights should be enshrined in laws, regulations and sources of legal norms. It should be noted that in the modern world, law, which includes human rights, is understood as a system of legal norms that are issued and protected by the state, which to a greater extent reflects a positive legal understanding. The essence of the theory of natural law is that in addition to positive law, which is created by the state, there is a common natural law for all people, standing above positive law. That is why natural law is realized in positive law and becomes its content. Thus, human rights and freedoms enshrined in the generally recognized principles and norms of international law have become the criterion of the legal basis for national systems of positive law.


legal understanding; lex naturalis; natural law; positivism; international law

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


Alais, S. (2003). The problem of legal understanding in the main schools of law. Kyiv: Institute of State and Law VM Koretsky NAS of Ukraine, 20 p.

Austin, J. (1832). The Province of Jurisprudence Determined and the Study of Jurisprudence. London. Retrieved from

Berman, H.J. (1983). Law and revolution: the formation of the western legal tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: Harvard University Press: 115 р.

Durnov, E. (2020). Сoncepts and types of functions of law understanding. Enterprise, Economy and Law, 9, 164-159.

Fuller, L. (2005). Positivism and fidelity to law. Reply to professor Hart. Jurisprudence, 6, 124-159.

Hart, G. (2005). Positivism and the delimitation of law and morality. Jurisprudence, 5, 102-136.

Invernizzi, C. (2017). Reconciling legal positivism and human rights: Hans Kelsen’s argument from relativism. Journal of Human Rights, 17, 215-228.

Judge Tanaka’s dissenting opinion in the 1966 judgment of the International Court of Justice in the South West African Cases. Retrieved from

Kozyubra, M. (2010). Legal understanding: concepts, types and levels. Law of Ukraine, 4, 14.

Kravchuk, M. (2016). Legal understanding is an important scientific problem of the legal life of Ukraine. Current Issues of Jurisprudence, 1, 19-25.

Kravtsov, I. (2018) The concept and main types of legal understanding. European Political and Law Discourse, 5, 66-71.

Krestovskaya, N., & Matveeva, L. (2008). Theory of state and law: an elementary course. 2nd edition. Kharkiv: Odyssey LLC, 432 p.

Kryvytskyi, Yu. (2017). Legal understanding as a worldview and methodological foundation of legal reform. Law and Society, 2, 25-30.

Liao, S., & Etinson, A. (2012), Political and naturalistic conceptions of human rights: a false polemic? Journal of Moral Philosophy, 9, 327–352.

Lutsky, R. (2011). Basic types of legal understanding. Scientific Bulletin of Uzhhorod University, 15, 53-56.

Marceau, L. (1942). Relation of natural to positive law. Notre Dame Law Review, 1, 22-35.

Misheglina, V. (2018) Legal symbols in integrative legal understanding: theoretical aspects. Law and Society, 2, 36-41.

Nicholson, F. (1981). Juridical positivism and human rights. New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc, 406 p.

Orbic, Z. (2019). Human rights in the light of the concepts of natural law. Scientific Papers of Silesian University of Technology, 140, 275-284.

Polyakov, A. (1999). Natural school of law. State and Law, 4, 12-19.

Popov, D. (2014). Application of natural law in the implementation of judicial review. Lviv: Lviv State University of Internal Affairs, 231 p.

Priel, D. (2017). The possibility of naturalistic jurisprudence legal positivism and natural law theory revisited. The Province of Jurisprudence Naturalised, 32, 7-35.

Storozhuk, D. (2018). Ontology of legal progress through the prism of typology of legal understanding. University Scientific Notes, 66, 167-179.

Titomir-Zotova, O. (2015). Natural and legal understanding of law as an ideological basis of legal education. Scientific Bulletin of Uzhhorod National University, 1, 47-50.

Totaro, M. (2008). Legal positivism, constructivism, and international human rights law: the case of participatory development. Virginia Journal of International Law, 48, 71-79.

Tsurkan-Saifulinova, Yu. (2017). Modern interpretations of the natural-legal doctrine of law and authority. National Law journal, 19-24.



  • Não há apontamentos.

Revista Relações Internacionais do Mundo Atual e-ISSN: 2316-2880

Rua Chile, 1678, Rebouças, Curitiba/PR (Brasil). CEP 80.220-181

Licença Creative Commons

Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional.