Grounds of Human Rights Limitations: Philosophic and Legal Aspects

The article examines philosophical and legal grounds to restrict human rights and freedoms in the constitutional and international legal acts. In particular, from this standpoint the subject of analysis encompasses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
The solution of any complicated legal issue has a particular philosophical basis (sometimes not even perceived by legal subjects). The broad issue of human rights is no exception (and, thus, restrictions of rights which are an integral and crucial part of human rights). Therefore, solution options are determined by the commitment to a particular philosophical position. Thus, one of the most important, defining dichotomies for modern Western political and legal philosophy, in our opinion, is the dichotomy of «liberalism – communitarianism», the basis for a true understanding of which is the opposition between an individual and the society. Hence, the restriction of fundamental rights is a basic category of constitutional and legal status of a person. Based on the fact that absolutely «unlimited» human rights cannot exist, we consider that establishing clear and understandable criteria limiting those rights at the highest (international legal and constitutional) level is an important safeguard against possible actions of the state and its individual bodies on arbitrary reduction of law implementation. Available limiting binary grounds 1) protection of individual human rights and freedoms; 2) protection of public (social and public) interests in articles of international instruments and most modern constitutions are the sign of the embodiment in legal practice ideas of liberal communitarianism as a result of the synthesis of liberal and communitarian postulates. The circle closes: the boundaries and limitations of the human rights and civil rights in constitutions and international documents on human rights are designated as public interest, public order and so on. In other words, we again have the opportunity to observe a conflict between liberal consolidation of human rights and forced restriction on the grounds of their implementation with clearly defined communitarian shade. However, we believe that facts of limiting human rights in favor of the government (for the protection of state (national) security, public order etc.) evidence the lack of consideration of the constitutional and legal status of a person only from the perspective of the dichotomy of «liberalism – communitarianism». It seems to be adequate in the future conduct a study within the triangle «power (potestary (Machiavellian-Kantian) discourse) – people (liberalism) – society (communitarianism)».