HOME

TheInfoList




Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution,
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legislature, parliament, or analogous Government, governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law ...
, or
judicial interpretation Judicial interpretation is the way in which the judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or in ...
, without
due process Due process is the legal requirement that the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspa ...
. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may include the
freedom of conscience Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fund ...
,
freedom of press Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fund ...
,
freedom of religion Freedom of religion or religious liberty is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in ...
,
freedom of expression Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosop ...
,
freedom of assembly Janitorial workers striking in front of the MTV building in Santa Monica, California">Santa Monica Santa Monica () is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, i ...
, the right to security and
liberty Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change withou ...

liberty
,
freedom of speech Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philoso ...

freedom of speech
, the
right to privacy The right to privacy is an element of various legal traditions to restrain governmental and private actions that threaten the privacy Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves, and ...
, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the
right to a fair trial A trial which is observed by a judge without being partial is a fair trial. Various rights associated with a fair trial are explicitly proclaimed in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human ...
, and the
right to life The right to life is the belief that a being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be killed by another entity including government. The concept of a right to life arises in debates on issues of capital punishment Capital ...
. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to
bodily integrity Bodily integrity is the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy File:Новая Кукковка.jpg, The Republic of Karelia is an autonomous Federal subjects of Russia, federal subject in Russia, ...
. Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between
positive liberty Positive liberty is the possession of the capacity to act upon one's free will, as opposed to negative liberty, which is freedom from external restraint on one's actions.Berlin, Isaiah. ''Four Essays on Liberty''. 1969. A concept of positive libert ...
/
positive rights Negative and positive rights are rights that oblige either inaction (''negative rights'') or action (''positive rights''). These obligations may be of either a legal or moral character. The notion of positive and negative rights may also be app ...
and
negative liberty Negative liberty is freedom from interference by other people. Negative liberty is primarily concerned with freedom from external restraint and contrasts with positive liberty Positive liberty is the possession of the capacity to act upon one's ...
/
negative rights Negative and positive rights are rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people acco ...
.


Overview

Many contemporary nations have a
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
, a
bill of rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against Civil and political rights, infringement fr ...
, or similar constitutional documents that enumerate and seek to guarantee civil liberties. Other nations have enacted similar laws through a variety of legal means, including signing and ratifying or otherwise giving effect to key conventions such as the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international ...
. The existence of some claimed civil liberties is a matter of dispute, as are the extent of most
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', ...
. Controversial examples include
property rights The right to property, or the right to own property (cf. ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be any asset, including an object, land or real estate, intellectual property, or until th ...
,
reproductive rights Reproductive rights are legal right Natural rights and legal rights are the two basic types of rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental norma ...
, and
civil marriage A civil marriage is a performed, recorded and recognised by a government official. Such a marriage may be performed by a body and recognised by the state, or it may be entirely . History Every country maintaining a of its residents keeps trac ...
. In authoritarian regimes in which government censorship impedes on perceived civil liberties, some civil liberty advocates argue for the use of anonymity tools to allow for free speech, privacy, and anonymity. The degree that democracies have involved themselves in needs to take into fact the influence of terrorism. Whether the existence of
victimless crime A victimless crime is an illegal act that typically either directly involves only the perpetrator or occurs between consenting adults. Because it is consensual in nature, whether there involves a victim is a matter of debate. Definitions of vict ...
s infringes upon civil liberties is a matter of dispute. Another matter of debate is the suspension or alteration of certain civil liberties in times of
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

war
or
state of emergency A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to be able to put through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do, for the safety and protection of its citizens. A government can declare such a state duri ...
, including whether and to what extent this should occur. The formal concept of civil liberties is often dated back to
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
, an English legal
charter A charter is the grant of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scie ...
agreed in 1215 which in turn was based on pre-existing documents, namely the
Charter of Liberties The Charter of Liberties, also called the Coronation Charter, was a written proclamation by Henry I of England Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135), also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. He wa ...

Charter of Liberties
.


Asia


China

The
Constitution of the People's Republic of China The Constitution of the People's Republic of China is nominally the constitution, supreme law of the People's Republic of China. It was adopted by the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982, with Constitution of the People's Repu ...
(which applies only to
mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies ...

mainland China
, not to
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
,
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
, and
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
) especially its Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens, claims to protect many civil liberties. Taiwan, which is separated from Mainland China, has its own Constitution. Although the 1982 constitution guarantees civil liberties, the
Chinese government The government of the People's Republic of China () is collectively the state authority in the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries a ...
usually uses the " subversion of state power" and "protection of state secrets" clauses in their law system to imprison those who criticize the
Chinese Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC). The CCP leads List of political parties in China, eight other ...
(CCP) and the state leaders.


India

The Fundamental Rights—embodied in Part III of the constitution—guarantee liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace as citizens of India. The six fundamental rights are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights and right to constitutional remedies. Constitution of India-Part III Fundamental Rights. These include individual rights common to most
liberal democracies Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is the combination of a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Li ...
, incorporated in the fundamental law of the land and are enforceable in a court of law. Violations of these rights result in punishments as prescribed in the
Indian Penal Code The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the official criminal code of India. It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law. The code was drafted on the recommendations of first law commission of India established in 1 ...
, subject to discretion of the
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
. These rights are neither absolute nor immune from constitutional amendments. They have been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. Specifically, they resulted in abolishment of un-touchability and prohibit
discrimination Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of Racial discrimination, r ...
on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. They forbid
human trafficking Human trafficking is the trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elem ...
and
unfree labour Unfree labour, or forced labour, is any work relation, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, violence including death, compulsion, or other ...
. They protect cultural and educational rights of ethnic and religious minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and administer their own educational institutions. All people, irrespective of race, religion, caste or sex, have the right to approach the High Courts or the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. It is not necessary that the aggrieved party has to be the one to do so. In public interest, anyone can initiate litigation in the court on their behalf. This is known as "
public interest litigationPublic interest litigation (PIL) refers to litigation undertaken to secure public interest and demonstrates the availability of justice to socially-disadvantaged parties and was introduced by Justice P. N. Bhagwati. It is a relaxation on the traditi ...
". High Court and Supreme Court judges can also act on their own on the basis of media reports. The Fundamental Rights emphasize equality by guaranteeing to all citizens the access and use of public institutions and protections, irrespective of their background. The rights to life and personal liberty apply for persons of any nationality, while others, such as the freedom of speech and expression are applicable only to the citizens of India (including
non-resident Indian Overseas Indians, officially known as non-resident Indians (NRIs) or persons of Indian origin (PIOs), are people of Indian birth, descent or origin who live outside the Republic of India India (Hindi Hindi ( Devanagari: हि ...
citizens). The right to equality in matters of public employment cannot be conferred to overseas citizens of India. Fundamental Rights primarily protect individuals from any arbitrary State actions, but some rights are enforceable against private individuals too. For instance, the constitution abolishes untouchability and prohibits ''
begar Veth (or ''Vethi'' or ''Vetti-chakiri'', from Sanskrit ''visti''), also known as Begar (from Persian language, Persian), was a system of forced labour practised in pre-independence India, in which members of populace were compelled to perform unpaid ...
''. These provisions act as a check both on State action and actions of private individuals. Fundamental Rights are not absolute and are subject to reasonable restrictions as necessary for the protection of national interest. In the ''Kesavananda Bharati vs. state of Kerala'' case, the Supreme Court ruled that all provisions of the constitution, including Fundamental Rights can be amended. However, the Parliament cannot alter the basic structure of the constitution like secularism, democracy, federalism, separation of powers. Often called the "Basic structure doctrine", this decision is widely regarded as an important part of Indian history. In the 1978 ''
Maneka Gandhi Maneka Sanjay Gandhi (also spelled Menaka; Married and maiden names, ''née'' Anand) (born 26 August 1956) is an Indian politician, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. She is a member of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian par ...

Maneka Gandhi
v. Union of India'' case, the Supreme Court extended the doctrine's importance as superior to any parliamentary legislation. According to the verdict, no act of parliament can be considered a law if it violated the basic structure of the constitution. This landmark guarantee of Fundamental Rights was regarded as a unique example of judicial independence in preserving the sanctity of Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights can only be altered by a constitutional amendment, hence their inclusion is a check not only on the executive branch, but also on the Parliament and state legislatures. The imposition of a
state of emergency A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to be able to put through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do, for the safety and protection of its citizens. A government can declare such a state duri ...
may lead to a temporary suspension of the rights conferred by Article 19 (including freedoms of speech, assembly and movement, etc.) to preserve national security and public order. The
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
can, by order, suspend the constitutional written remedies as well.


Japan

Since 1947,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, a country with a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
and known for its socially "conservative society where change is gradual," has a
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
with a seemingly strong bill of rights at its core ( Chapter III. Rights and Duties of the People). In many ways, it resembles the
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...

U.S. Constitution
prior to the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 () is a landmark civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fund ...
, and that is because it came into life during the
Allied An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
occupation of Japan The was a military occupation Military or belligerent occupation, often simply occupation, is provisional control by a ruling power over a territory, without a claim of formal sovereignty.Eyāl Benveniśtî. The international law of occu ...
. This constitution may have felt like a foreign imposition to the governing elites, but not to the ordinary people "who lacked faith in their discredited leaders and supported meaningful change." In the abstract, the constitution strives to secure fundamental individual liberties and rights, which are covered pointedly in articles 10 to 40. Most salient of the human dignity articles is article 25, section 1, which guarantees that all "people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living." Despite the adoption of this liberal constitution, often referred as the "Postwar Constitution" (戦後憲法, Sengo-Kenpō) or the "Peace Constitution" (平和憲法, Heiwa-Kenpō), the Japanese governing elites have struggled to usher in an inclusive, open and Pluralist society. Even after the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and the departure of the Allied government of occupation in 1952, Japan has been the target of international criticism for failing to admit to
war crimes A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
, institutional religious discrimination and maintaining a weak
freedom of the press Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being w ...
, the treatment of children, minorities, foreigners, and women, its punitive criminal justice system, and more recently, the systematic bias against
LGBT ' is an initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (li ...

LGBT
people. The first Japanese attempt to a bill of rights was in the 19th century
Meiji constitution The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanes ...
(1890), which took both the
Prussian Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duchy of Prussia, a duchy centered on the Prussia (region), region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Balt ...
(1850) and
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
constitutions as basic models. However, it had but a meager influence in the practice of the rule of law as well as in people's daily living. So, the short and deliberately gradual history of struggles for personal rights and protection against government/society's impositions has yet to transform Japan into a champion of universal and individual freedom. According to constitutional scholar, Shigenori Matsui, Despite the divergences between Japan's social culture and the Liberal Constitutionalism that it purports to have adopted, the country has moved toward closing the gap between the notion and the practice of the law. The trend is more evident in the long term. Among several examples, the
Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for #Health, health or #Weight management, weight-mana ...

Diet
(bicameral legislature) ratified the
International Bill of Human Rights International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * International (Kevin Michael album), ''International'' (Kevin Michael album), 2011 * International (New Order album), ' ...
in 1979 and then it passed the Law for Equal Opportunity in Employment for Men and Women in 1985, measures that were heralded as major steps toward a democratic and participatory society. In 2015, moreover, it reached an agreement with
Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...

Korea
to compensate for abuses related to the so-called "
women of comfort
women of comfort
" that took place during the Japanese occupation of the
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el ...

peninsula
. However, human rights group, and families of the survivors condemned the agreement as patronizing and insulting. On its officia
site
the Japanese government has identified various human rights problems. Among these are child abuses (e.g.,
bullying upright=1.3, Banner in a campaign against bullying at Cefet-MG Bullying is the use of force, coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a ''communicated'' intent to inflict ...

bullying
,
corporal punishment A corporal punishment or a physical punishment is a punishment which is intended to cause physical pain to a person. When it is inflicted on Minor (law), minors, especially in home and school settings, its methods may include spanking or Padd ...
,
child sexual abuse Child sexual abuse, also called child molestation, is a form of child abuse Child abuse or child maltreatment is , , and/or maltreatment or of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse may include any act o ...
,
child prostitution Child prostitution is prostitution involving a child, and it is a form of commercial sexual exploitation of children. The term normally refers to prostitution of a Minor (law), minor, or person under the legal age of consent. In most jurisdictio ...
, and
child pornography Child pornography (also called CP, child sexual abuse material, CSAM, child porn, or kiddie porn) is pornography that exploits children for sexual stimulation. It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child (also kn ...
), frequent neglect and ill-treatment of elderly persons and individuals with
disabilities A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or effectively interact with the world around them (socially or materially). These conditions, or impairments, may be cognitive Cognition () ...
, Dowa claims (discrimination against the
Burakumin is a former untouchable group in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Jap ...
),
Ainu people The Ainu or the Aynu ( ain, アィヌ, , ; ja, アイヌ, ; russian: Áйны, ), also known as the in historical Japanese texts, are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group Indigenous peoples, indigenous to Japan, northern Japan, the o ...
(indigenous people in Japan), foreign nationals, HIV/AIDS carriers,
Hansen's disease Monster Beverage Corporation is an American beverage company that manufactures energy drinks including Monster Energy, Relentless (drink), Relentless and Burn (energy drink), Burn. The company was originally founded as Hansen's in 1935 in Southe ...
patients, persons released from prison after serving their sentence, crime victims, people whose human rights are violated using the Internet, the homeless, individuals with gender identity disorders, and
women A woman is an adult female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism that produces the large non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells), the type of gamete (sex cell) that fuses with the Sperm, male gamete during sexual reproduction. A female ...
. Also, the government lists systematic problems with gender biases and the standard reference to sexual preferences for jobs and other functions in society. Human rights organizations, national and foreign, expand the list to include human rights violations that relate to government policies, as in the case of daiyo kangoku system (substitute prison) and the methods of interrogating crime suspects. The effort of these agencies and ordinary people seem to pay off. In 2016, the U.S. Department of State released a report stating that Japan's human right record is showing signs of improvement.


Australia

Whilst Australia does not have an enshrined Bill of Rights or similar binding legal document, civil liberties are assumed as protected through a series of rules and conventions. Australia had primary involvement in and was a key signatory to the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) The Constitution of Australia (1900) does offer very limited protection of rights: * the right to freedom of religion and; * the right to freedom from discrimination based on out-of-state residence (historical prejudice based upon residence within one state affecting treatment within another) Certain High Court interpretations of the Constitution have allowed for implied rights such as freedom of speech and the right to vote to be established, however others such as freedom of assembly and freedom of association are yet to be identified. Refugee issues Within the past decade Australia has experienced increasing contention regarding its treatment of those seeking asylum. Although Australia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention (1951), successive governments have demonstrated an increasing tightening of borders; particularly against those who seek passage via small water vessels. The Abbott Government (2013) like its predecessors (the Gillard and Howard Governments) has encountered particular difficulty curbing asylum seekers via sea, increasingly identified as "illegal immigration". The recent involvement of the Australian Navy in refugee rescue operations has many human rights groups such as Amnesty International concerned over the "militarisation" of treatment to the refugee and the issue of their human rights in Australia. The current "turn-back" policy is particularly divisive, as it involves placing refugees in government lifeboats and turning them towards Indonesia. Despite opposition however, the Abbott government's response has so far seen a reduction in the number of potential refugees undertaking the hazardous cross to Australia, which is argued by the government as an indicator for its policy success.


Europe


European Convention on Human Rights

The
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
, to which almost all European countries belong (apart from Belarus), enumerates a number of civil liberties and is of varying constitutional force in different European states.


Czech Republic

Following the Velvet Revolution, a constitutional overhaul took place in Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, Czechoslovakia. In 1991, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms was adopted, having the same legal standing as the Constitution of the Czech Republic, Constitution. The Czech Republic has kept the Charter in its entirety following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia as Act No. 2/1993 Coll. (Constitution being No. 1).


France

France's 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen listed many civil liberties and is of constitutional force.


Germany

The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, German constitution, the "Grundgesetz" (lit. "Base Law"), starts with an elaborate listing of civil liberties and states in sec. 1 "The dignity of man is inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all public authority." Following the "Austrian System", the people have the right to appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ("Bundesverfassungsgericht") if they feel their civil rights are being violated. This procedure has shaped German law considerably over the years.


United Kingdom

Civil liberties in the United Kingdom date back to
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
in 1215 and 17th century English common law, common law and statute law, such as the 1628 Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and the Bill of Rights 1689. Parts of these laws remain in statute today and are supplemented by other legislation and conventions that collectively form the uncodified Constitution of the United Kingdom. In addition, the United Kingdom is a signatory to the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
which covers both human rights and civil liberties. The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the great majority of Convention rights directly into UK law. In June 2008 the then Shadow Home Secretary David Davis (British politician), David Davis David Davis by-election campaign, 2008, resigned his parliamentary seat over what he described as the "erosion of civil liberties" by the then Labour government, and was re-elected on a civil liberties platform (although he was not opposed by candidates of other major parties). This was in reference to anti-terrorism laws and in particular the extension to pre-trial detention, that is perceived by many to be an infringement of ''habeas corpus'' established in Magna Carta.


Russia

The Constitution of Russia, Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees in theory many of the same rights and civil liberties as the U.S. except to bear arms, i.e.: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association and assembly, freedom to choose language, to due process, to a fair trial, privacy, freedom to vote, right for education, etc. However, human rights groups like Amnesty International have warned that Vladimir Putin has seriously curtailed
freedom of expression Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosop ...
,
freedom of assembly Janitorial workers striking in front of the MTV building in Santa Monica, California">Santa Monica Santa Monica () is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, i ...
and freedom of association amidst growing authoritarianism.


North America


Canada

The Constitution of Canada includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees many of the same rights as the U.S. constitution, with the notable exceptions of protection against establishment of religion. However, the Charter does protect
freedom of religion Freedom of religion or religious liberty is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in ...
. The Charter also omits any mention of, or protection for, property.


United States

The United States Constitution, especially its United States Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights, protects civil liberties. The passage of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment further protected civil liberties by introducing the Privileges or Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause, and Equal Protection Clause. Human rights within the United States are often called
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', ...
, which are those rights, privileges and immunities held by all people, in distinction to ''political'' rights, which are the rights that inhere to those who are entitled to participate in elections, as candidates or voters. Before universal suffrage, this distinction was important, since many people were ineligible to vote but still were considered to have the fundamental freedoms derived from the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This distinction is less important now that Americans enjoy near universal suffrage, and civil liberties are now taken to include the political rights to vote and participate in elections. Because Native American tribal governments retain sovereignty over tribal members, the U.S. Congress in 1968 enacted a law that essentially applies most of the protections of the Bill of Rights to tribal members, to be enforced mainly by tribal courts. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was signed into effect by President Ronald Reagan on August 10, 1988. The act was passed by Congress to issue a public apology for those of Japanese ancestry who Internment of Japanese Americans#Hardship and material loss, lost their property and liberty due to discriminatory actions by the United States Government during Internment of Japanese Americans, the internment period. This act also provided many other benefits within various sectors of the government. Within the treasury it established a civil liberties public education fund. It directed the Attorney General to identify and locate each individual affected by this act and to pay them $20,000 from the civil liberties public education fund. It also established a board of directors who is responsible for making disbursements from this fund. Finally, it required that all documents and records that are created or received by the commission be kept by the Archivist of the United States.


See also

*American Civil Liberties Union *Canadian Civil Liberties Association *Civil and political rights *Civil libertarianism *Drug liberalization *Equality and Human Rights Commission *Fundamental freedoms *Human rights *Libertarianism *Liberalism *Liberty (pressure group) *List of civil rights leaders *Privacy *Proactive policing *Rule according to higher law *Rutherford Institute *Teaching for social justice *State of World Liberty Index *Statewatch


Notes and references


Further reading

* Alan Dershowitz, Dershowitz, Alan
"Preserving Civil Liberties."
''Reflections on the Fractured Landscape'', spec. sec. of ''Chronicle of Higher Education'', ''Chronicle Review'', September 28, 2001. Accessed August 11, 2006. * Jean Edward Smith, Smith, Jean Edward, and Herbert M. Levine. ''Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Debated''. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988.


External links


Court cases involving Civil Liberties held at the National Archives at Atlanta







USDOJ: Privacy and Civil Liberties Office
{{DEFAULTSORT:Civil Liberties Civil rights and liberties, Individualism cs:Občanské svobody