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Liberty IntactHuman Rights in English Law$
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Michael Tugendhat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.001.0001

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Historical Overview

Historical Overview

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 Historical Overview
Source:
Liberty Intact
Author(s):

Michael Tugendhat

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.003.0002

The American and French Declarations, the UDHR, and the ECHR all reflect English law. The UK in adhering to them to bind other countries to rights, not to reform British law. UDHR rights are against other individuals as well as against the state (but are unenforceable). ECHR rights are binding under international law,only against states. Natural rights were used to justify rebellions., eg by the barons against King John (Magna Carta) by the Dutch against Spain in 1581, by the English against kings in 1642 and 1688 (fundamental rights), and the French and Americans in 1776 and 1789 (rights of mankind). In England equality before the law, an independent judiciary and other human rights were protected in the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries. English laws recognize more rights than are set out in Declarations of Rights. ‘Human rights’ is a term used from about 1780 as a synonym for natural rights.

Keywords:   UDHR, ECHR, Magna Carta, French Revolution, American Revolution, rule of law, human rights, rights of mankind, fundamental rights

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