Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Right Definition:

A claim or an advantage possessed by a person or persons, which is conferred or protected by law, and which implies a corresponding duty on the part of another

Related Terms: Human Right, Human Dignity, Power, Liberty

Mostly used in the context of human rights and often confused with the very similar concepts of a power, a freedom or a liberty.

In his 1966 book, Saskathewan-born and then law professor Walter Tarnopolsky (later appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal) wrote:

"A right may be said to be a claim or an advantage possessed by a person or persons, which is conferred or protected by law, and which implies a corresponding duty on the part of another.

"Thus, if A lends B a certain sum of money, A has a right to the repayment of a like sum, and B is under a "duty" to repay it.

"Or if A has a right to free education until age sixteen, there is a corresponding duty on the part of some authority to provide that free education."

REFERENCES:

  • Tarnopolsky, Walter Surma, The Canadian Bill of Rights (Toronto: Carswell Company Ltd., 1966), pages 1-3

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