constitution

What Are The Human Rights and Entitlements

What Are The Human Rights and Entitlements

November 30
00:00 -0001

What Are The Human Rights and Entitlements

A basic concern of the practice
of a constitution is the protection of what we would now term human rights,
which at another point in human history were referred to as natural rights. In
a more neutral sense, a typical constitution might be understood as providing a
codified structure for the functions and operation of government. In placing
government operations on a regular basis, however, the state’s relations with
its citizens are also normalized, which generally tends toward the end of assuring
the liberties and privileges associated with human rights.

In Constitutional law, the abuse or other impermissible use of
power by the authorities comes under the heading of the Latin phrase
 
ultra vires, or “beyond the powers” This provision allows for the
violation of human rights by such people to be prosecuted, and does so not in
explicit citation of the humanitarian reasons for doing so, but in the
procedural terms of such people going beyond their allowable limits.

When members of a government go
beyond the powers granted to them in their constitution or by statutes of law,
then they can be considered “ultra vires”. Similarly, lawful acts
which are nonetheless offensive toward human rights or in some other
undesirable way can generally be addressed by a constitution.

In most systems of
constitutional law, the constitution is understood as the basis for law and
thus takes precedence over statutes. Statutes which are found in violation of
the applicable constitution can generally be declared null and void
 ab initio, or “from the creation”.

Human rights are guaranteed in the United States Constitution
primarily through the avenue of the Bill of Rights, the collective name for the
first ten Amendments made to the Constitution, the passage of which was, it
should be noted, an informal requirement for ratification of the document to be
effected. Prior to the formation of modern instruments for the enforcement of
human rights, the concept first arrived into European intellectual currents
under the heading of natural rights. Up to that time, European thought had been
dominated by the precepts of classical philosophy and strictures of Christian
theology. A newly scientific and objective mode of thought led to the
conception of the original state of humans as being one in which they could
freely exercise innate behaviors and actions. This idea allowed for the modern
basis of Constitutional law, as seen in the United States, in which the
formulation of the United States Constitution was conceived in terms of
securing to the country’s citizens the rights which it was assumed they would
freely use if not for the restraints of society.

European thinkers arrived at
the idea of natural rights partly through observation of indigenous and tribal
peoples elsewhere in the world, whose societies were often assumed to be less
restricted than those of Europe. Modern human rights theory avoids such
generalizations about early human society, but proceeds to the similar
conclusion that certain rights are innately due to all people.



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