The right to development is one of the most contested rights, continuing to attract the attention of academics, international lawyers and scholars in the development discourse. Since the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development in 1986, the question whether a legal right to development exists, particularly in the context of states’ rights, is unresolved. The article seeks to explore the challenges and prospects of recognising the right to development as a legal right. In making such an inquiry, the article discusses the legal framework governing the right to development, the theoretical controversies surrounding its articulation and the prospects of its implementation. Beyond reinvigorating the discussion on the right to development, the article aims to give the reader new insights on the subject.