Juridifying Security is a book project by Liora Lazarus and will be published by Hart Publishing.  It builds on the work she has published on the right to security and coercive obligations.  Through a careful exploration of political narrative, philosophical arguments, and domestic and international case law, treaty law and legislation, the book project scrutinizes the legal narrative around the exponential rise of the right to security and ‘coercive’ rights’ more broadly.  The book will show, how the right to security has become a compelling rhetorical political tool, and philosophical argument, for a rebalancing of the ordering of human rights as a whole.  Similarly, it demonstrates how human rights have been become platforms for broader preventive powers, extended criminalisation and the intensification of punishment.  The book warns of a risk of coercive overreach, arguing for a more careful and nuanced approach in the shaping of positive ‘protective’ obligations. While acknowledging that coercive human rights have a range of persuasive normative justifications, the book argues that coercive duties must be properly constrained in law, legal theory and political rhetoric. Importantly, the book argues against viewing the right to security as a meta-right upon which all other rights rest. It insists for a clear distinction between ‘securing’ rights and ‘securitizing’ rights, arguing that a meta-right to security must be resisted if we wish to safeguard the carefully won consensus around the foundation of human rights as dignity, equality and liberty.


  • L Lazarus, 'The Right to Security' in Rowan Cruft, Matthew Liao and Massimo Renzo (eds), The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (Oxford University Press 2015)
    This paper surveys and critiques the philosophical theories that engage with and support a moral right to security.
  • L Lazarus, 'Positive Obligations and Criminal Justice: Duties to Protect or Coerce' in Julian Roberts and Lucia Zedner (eds), Principled Approaches to Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Essays in Honour of Professor Andrew Ashworth (Oxford University Press 2012)
    Human rights advocates internationally, and supporters of socio-economic rights, have battled for many years to get States and courts to accept that human rights give rise to positive obligations upon States and that such obligations ought to be justiciable in principle. Much of the rhetoric deployed in this campaign has focused on the importance of protecting and respecting basic human needs and capabilities, and ensuring that individuals enjoy a basic level of subsistence in order to secure the enjoyment of all rights. In the context of criminal justice and criminal law: positive obligations are very often cast as duties on the State to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others (protective duties). Very little attention is paid however to the potential for such positive obligations to give rise to what I term ‘coercive duties’. In other words, duties upon the State to coerce individuals through the criminal law, or criminal justice mechanisms, in the name of protecting others from their criminal acts. The coercive aspect of positive obligations comes more sharply into focus when we look at the rhetoric around, and judicial enforcement of ,the right to security. But the development of coercive duties are evident in the positive aspect of other rights too. This chapter explores the ambiguity involved in the growing development of positive rights in the field of criminal law and criminal justice. It dwells briefly on the emerging right to security case law and rhetoric internationally, and goes on to examine cases within the UK and ECHR. The thesis of the chapter is that while some protective duties arising from human rights may be a positive development, the extension of coercive duties on the State to coerce others in the name of another individual’s rights is an overseen and more pernicious part of this development of human rights. The chapter will end by exploring how we reconcile coercive duties arising out of human rights with opposing negative rights protections, or even other protective duties.
  • L Lazarus, 'The Right to Security - Securing Rights or Securitizing Rights' in Dickinson et al (ed), Examining Critical Perspectives on Human Rights (Cambridge University Press 2012)
    This paper examines the rise of the right to security within human rights discourse and its potential to erode human rights more generally. It argues that political discourse around the apparent conflict between security and rights since 9/11 has been complicated by an emerging notion of the 'right to security' as the meta-right (the right of rights). This claim (and the inherent ambiguity of what the right to security requires) has the potential to lead to a 'securitization' of human rights, a process that threatens to erode the traditional foundations of human rights, and human rights themselves. Operating in tandem with this 'securitization' process, the discourse of the right to security has been used to sanitize, or at least to legitimate, coercive security measures. This is a process I refer to as 'righting' security. These two processes combine in complex ways to give security an effective trump claim over other rights.
  • L Lazarus, 'Mapping the Right to Security' in Benjamin J Goold and Liora Lazarus (eds), Security and Human Rights (Hart Publishing 2007)
    ISBN: 978-1-84113-608-0
  • L Lazarus, 'The Right to Security' in (ed), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2017)