Methodological fundamentals of human rights research

Head of the Department theory and history of state and law, constitutional and international law Lviv State University of Internal Affairs
Lviv State University of Internal Affairs

The article highlights the methodological fundamentals and aspects of human rights research. It is emphasized that when forming a system of methods for the study of human rights there is a need to take into account such elements as the branch of legal science and its specific terminology, the generation to which the chosen right belongs, the territory where the right is implemented, etc.  In the comparative legal method example, the features of human rights research are shown, taking into account the interaction of international, regional, and national human rights protection systems. It is proposed that when applying the comparative legal method to the study of human rights, research should be carried out at certain stages. The authors establish the need to combine multi-level research methods, taking into account the purpose of the study.

It is determined that there is a need to formulate a certain set of conceptual provisions, the acceptance of which is the ideological foundation of the doctrine of human rights: the duty of the state to respect human rights, the inalienability of human rights, and universality.

It was emphasized that a detailed analysis of such fundamental provisions is necessary only if it is the purpose of such a project. Otherwise, the discussion of the content of these provisions distracts the researcher from the study’s main purpose - to clarify the place and role of the relevant human right in the human rights system.

It is proposed to define certain blocks of methods depending on the focus of the study. The necessity of selecting the «core» («nucleus») of research methods in such a way that they complement each other and mutually reinforce is indicated. The authors found that the change of the «core» of the study entails not only a change in the nature of the study but also a change in the argumentation and the formation of a different set of conclusions of the study in the field of human rights depends on what methods will be put in the core of the research.

1. Tsyppelius R. (2004). Yurydychna metodolohiia. [Legal methodology.]. Kуіv : Vyd-vo "Referat". 176 p.
2. Kelman M. (2011). Yurydychna nauka yak obiekt metodolohichnoho doslidzhennia. [Legal science as an
object of methodological research.]. Ternopil : Terno-hraf. 348 p.
3. Kelman M. (2011). Yurydychna nauka: problemy metodolohii. [Legal science: problems of methodology.].
Ternopil : Terno-hraf. 492 p.
4. Petersmann (2018). Ernst-Ulrich, Human Rights, Constitutional Justice and International Economic
Adjudication: Legal Methodology Problems. European University Institute Department of Law Research Paper. Nо.
18. URL :
5. Arstein-Kerslake A., Gooding P., Mercer S., Raymond M., McSherry B. (2019). Implementing a
Participatory Human Rights-Based Research Methodology: The Unfitness to Plead Project. Journal of Human Rights
Practice. Volume 11. Issue 3. November. P. 589-606. URL :
6. Gruskin S., Ferguson L., Kumar S., Nicholson A., Ali M., et al. (2017). A novel methodology for
strengthening human rights based monitoring in public health: Family planning indicators as an illustrative
example. [A novel methodology for strengthening human rights based monitoring in public health: Family planning
indicators as an illustrative example.]. PLOS ONE. Nо. 12 (12): URL :
7. Aleksi R. (2008). Instytutsionalizatsiia prav liudyny v demokrattychnii konstytutsiinii derzhavi. [Institu-
tionalization of human rights in a democratic const нніitutional state. Philosophy of human rights.]. Filosofiia prav
liudyny. Kyiv : Nika-Tsentr. 320 p.
8. Donelli Dzh. (2004). Prava liudyny u mizhnarodnii politytsi. [Human rights in international politics]. Kуіv
: Kalvariia. 280 p.
9. Kharytonov Ye., Kharytonova O. (2002). Porivnialne pravo Yevropy: osnovy porivnialnoho pravoznavstva.
[Comparative law of Europe: foundations of comparative jurisprudence.]. Yevropeiski tradytsii. Khаrкіv : Odisei. 592
10. Sytar I., Chornobai O. (2009). Metodolohichni osnovy porivnialnoho pravoznavstva. [Methodological
foundations of comparative jurisprudence.]. Lviv : LvDUVS. 72 p.
11. Balynska O. M., Yashchenko V. A. (2009). Metodolohiia suchasnoho pravoznavstva : posibnyk [Method-
ology of modern jurisprudence : manual] / za zah. red. O. M. Balynskoi. Lviv : LvDUVS. 372 p.

D. Zabzaljuk. Ruslan Topolevsky "Methodological fundamentals of human rights research".