In his 1993 Oxford Amnesty Lecture, John Rawls attempts to respond
to some of the criticisms his theory of justice has received from those
concerned with the international aspects of social justice, and in particular
with universal human rights. Rawls takes what he refers to as
the ‘law of peoples’ as the focus for his discussion. He claims that a
general liberal theory of justice may be extended internationally and
form the basis for a universally recognised basic human rights minimum.
Additionally, Rawls suggests that this scheme of international
justice is an improvement on other liberal theories dealing with
human rights because, he concludes, it would be acceptable to nonliberal,
non-Western societies as well as to liberal, Western societies.