Differences between: Legal, Moral and Customary Rights Details on various NGO's that protect and define human rights.

Essay by adza28B+, May 2005

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1. Distinguish between

a) Legal, Moral and Customary Rights.

A legal right is one that is enforceable by law. Any citizen and can discover these rights. They can validly be argued in court and generally take preference to other rights.

Moral rights are those that particular groups believe are right and just. They are generally derived from religion and reflect the values and attitudes of the group that holds them. Usually the moral rights held by the majority of the population are closely reflected in their legal rights. Moral rights vary depending on the group, for example, some groups believe men should have the right to take multiple wives. If there were a minority group who held such a belief in Australia, it would be illegal to practice that moral right because it is not a legal right.

Customary rights are borne out of age and habit. They are customs established long ago that have been practiced for a long time and are therefore established as 'the norm'.

In some cases customary rights are enforceable by law - but not by definition. An example of a customary right is on a footpath, it is the custom to walk on the left hand side so that is an unwritten but unenforceable customary law.

b) Various Types of Individual and Collective Human Rights.

Civil and political rights concern political comment and public opinion. The point of these rights is to stop oppression and allow freedom of expression. Civil and political rights detail things like anonymity, freedom of expression and peaceful protest. They protect the citizen's rights to speak out against her country and in some cases are back up by legal rights.

Social and cultural rights concern groups' right to practice cultural traditions and services. This ranges from the simple right to...

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