Between Rights and Bills of Rights

Jeremy Waldron

in Law and Disagreement

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198262138
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682308 | DOI:
Between Rights and Bills of Rights

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This chapter asks: should we embody our rights in legalistic formulas and proclaim them in a formal Bill of Rights? Or should we leave them to evolve informally in dialogue among citizens, representatives, and officials? It also considers whether we should stop rights from being violated or rely on a general spirit of watchfulness in the community, attempting to raise what John Stuart Mill called ‘a strong barrier of moral conviction’ to protect our liberty. It asks whether perhaps we should we also entrust some specific branch of government — the courts, for example — with the task of detecting violations and with the authority to overrule any other branch that commits them, including the legislature.

Keywords: Bill of Rights; John Stuart Mill; liberty; legislature; rights

Chapter.  10014 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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