What are rights?

What are rights?

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Rights accorded by law.

Legal rights - liberties the law allows us which are recognized by the judiciary in any state.They're different in each government and may be amended/removed at any time (eg. freedom of speech, right to vote, equality before the law)

Rights consciousness - general awareness of rights to be claimed/asserted against others. Particularly by the government, who are expected at the very least to preserve rights such as the right to work and to enjoy an adequate standard of living.

We have a duty - to ensure that rights we enjoy are also enjoyed by others (eg. our right not to be burgled or assaulted imposes the duty on us not to burgle or assault others.)

Civil disobedience - law breaking that is justified by reference to some higher morality. It is a public act designed to make a point to those in authority.

Voting - give us a chance to hold those in rule to account and to be involved in the government that shapes our lives. Elections are the channel for powerful participation and are often viewed as civic duty.

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Views of Rights.

New Labour - places less empathsis on rights, though argue the place for positive freedoms, such as sexual or racial discrimination.

Conservative - places empathsis on choice for individuals, passing fewer laws and allowing people to pursue their lives without interference.

Obedience to law - the social penalty constitutes a part of the total that society imoses for offense against the law (eg. more scared of being looked down upon by society than of prison). Religion/morals may also encourage citizens to obey the law.

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Examples of legal rights in society.

Many rights are concerned with the system of criminal justice and involve the protection of personal freedoms. They allow everyone to act as the want, subject to not breaking the law.

The right to vote.

Freedom of religion.

Freedom of movement within Britain and to leave Britain.

Right to join a political party or pressure group.

Freedom of expression - however there are limitations, such as the law of blasphemy (using language that is disrespectful to the Cristian religion)

Social rights - rights to work, free education and healthcare. However, there are problems, for example the right to work and free choice of employment is secured within the limits of economic capacity and development. (ie. lack of employment)

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Inalienable rights - entitlements that cannot or should not be removed, because they derive from people's common humanity. They are inherited at birth and are sole property of the citizen who decides how and to what ends they are used. (eg. born free and equal in dignity and rights)

Conflicting rights - for example, the rights for a woman to have an abortion are not consistent with the wishes of those who argue for the rights of a life to the unborn child.

Limitations on free speech - national security, public safety, protection of the rights and freedoms of others and public health and morals.

Glorifying Terrorism - defined by prevention of terrorist Act (2005) as a statement likely to be glorifying/celebrating a terrorist act, and encouraging terrorism.

Abu Hamza - preached in a London Mosque was charged of 16 crimes, such as encouraging the murder of non-Muslims, using threatening behavior, . sentenced 7 years imprisonment since May 2004. The judge declared that he had 'helped to create an atmosphere in which to kill has been regarded by some as not only legitimate, but a moral and religious duty in pursuit of perceived justice.

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Thank You,

Megan (moderator)



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Thank You,

Megan (moderator)

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