This article concerns two aspects of Stone Sweet and Ryan’s theory of legal cosmopolitanism: (1) what the Kantian cosmopolitan legal order means for an international court; and (2) what it means for the holders of the rights that flow from the cosmopolitan legal order. The article interrogates the extent to which, in order to be considered a truly cosmopolitan legal order, the European Convention on Human Rights needs at times not only to make non-citizens free of rights equal to those of citizens, but also to give them stronger rights than those enjoyed by citizens. The article concludes by turning to the meaning of the European Convention beyond its European context. The European system for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms may fail or succeed, yet the enthusiasm that the most successful rights-protecting body in the world has created in bystanders, and the very fact that it came into being at all, prove that real progress is possible. From a Kantian perspective, this may well be its greatest accomplishment.
- legal cosmopolitanism
- international law