Civil Liberties


Civil liberties or personal freedoms are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation, without due process.

Judicial interpretation is a theory or mode of thought that describes a general approach which the judiciary uses to interpret the law, particularly constitutional documents and legislation.

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person.

A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled.

Introduction to Civil Liberties by mrplough07


Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may include the freedom from torture, freedom from forced disappearance, freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life.

Various rights associated with a fair trial are explicitly proclaimed in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as well as numerous other constitutions and declarations throughout the world.

Freedom of religion or freedom of belief is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.

Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right or ability of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their ideas.

Civil Rights & Liberties: Crash Course Government #23 by CrashCourse


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 and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies.


Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive libertynegative rights.

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.

Negative and positive rights are rights that respectively oblige either action or inaction.

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