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What Are The Human Rights and Entitlements

Human Rights

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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