Chapter

Civil Liberties and the Law

Neil MacCormick

in Legal Right and Social Democracy

Published in print March 1984 | ISBN: 9780198255024
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255024.003.0003
Civil Liberties and the Law

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Freedom is a condition of human self-respect and of that contentment which resides in the ability to pursue one's own conception of a full and rewarding life. Those who have never lost freedom are scarcely aware how precious it is. To be able to decide what to do and how to do it, to carry out one's own decisions and accept their consequences, is essential to one's self-respect as a human being, and essential to the possibility of that contentment. The chapter agrees, and tries to show why it agrees. This chapter explains what liberty is and why people have a right to it. It also presents the idea of civil liberty, which is necessarily liberty under law, against the anarchist idea of natural liberty. It also discusses whether civil liberty is a necessary condition of true law.

Keywords: freedom; self-respect; civil liberty; natural liberty; law

Chapter.  8406 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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