In Strict Sense Legal Rights are Correlative of Legal Duties-illustrate & explain


In the majority current legal systems some primary rights are awarded by the constitution. This typically gives them a certain level of precedence over challenging legal deliberations, but this can vary from system to system. Sometimes constitutional rights will have an absolute priority over any other consideration not itself based on a constitutional right. Sometimes they will merely errand one legal outcome rather than another, without saying it.

Legal duties are the means of developing the legal rights. Without proper cultivation of legal duties there will be no place to practice legal rights. As we can see to have proper education is legal right to everyone. But to establish this legal right a lot of people is responsible. Parents need send their children to the schools; government needs to provide school or educational institutions for everyone. Teachers need to provide education among the students. All these things fall under the legal duties. “Constitutions will vary, too, as to whether certain rights are ‘entrenched’ or not. Entrenchment can be absolute, in which case the rights cannot be removed or altered by any constitutional means or it can be relative, requiring only a more onerous procedure than that for normal legislation”[1].

Constitutions will also vary on the extent to which human rights recognized under international law or treaty is recognized in national law. For example, in some countries in Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights thereon, are incorporated into national law and override any national law inconsistent with them. In others, such as the United Kingdom, the courts have, so far as possible, to interpret legislation to be consistent with the Convention, but have no power to strike it down if they find it to be clearly inconsistent.

  1. Legal Rights

Legal rights are the rights that are declared by the laws of legal systems.  According to Austin John a number of philosophical issues are hoisted by this; they are “(1) Are legal rights are abstractly linked to other types of rights, principally moral rights; (2) What the analysis of the concept of a legal right is; (3) What kinds of entities can be legal right-holders; (4) Whether there any kinds of rights which are exclusive to, or at least have much greater importance in, legal systems, as opposed to morality; (5) What rights legal systems ought to create or recognize”[2]. The last issue is actually one of moral and political philosophy, and is similar in general principle as of the subject of what duties, acceptance, powers, etc, legal systems should deevelop or identify.

A prelude point will be notified, that is do all legal systems have an understanding of rights? In Today’s legal systems their use is insidious. “We talk of legislatures having the legal right to pass laws, of judges to decide cases, of private individuals to make wills and contracts; as well as of constitutions providing legal rights to the citizens against fellow citizens and against the state itself”[3]. Though it is said that even some structured earlier systems, such as Roman law, had no terminology which clearly separated rights from duties (see Maine (1861), 269–70)[4]. The question is principally one for legal historians and will not be taken into account here, but it may be brought out that it may still be justifiable when relating those systems to speak of rights in the up to date sense, since Roman law, for example, clearly reached many of the same results as existing systems. Apparently, it did so by putting some of the more essential theories into which rights can, possibly, be analyzed.

2.1. The Conceptual Analysis of Legal Rights

All philosophers did not agree that rights can be determined as a whole. White (1984), for example, argued that the task is impossible because the concept of a right is as basic as any of the others, such as duty, liberty, power, etc (or any set of them) into which it is usually analysed. He agrees, however, that rights can in part be explained by reference to such concepts[5]. White’s method, depended mostly on strong linguistic study, has stayed something of a marginal one.

The rest of the approaches can be classified in many techniques, but a major partition is between those who believe rights are distanced out by their weight as realistic causes, and those who think that rights are not particular in this observation, but as an alternative are to be examined into duties, permissions, powers, etc, or some amalgamation of these, possibly with the adding up of other variables.

Dworkin (1973, 1975, 1981, and 1986) has been the principal proponent of the first view. According to him rights enjoy a categorical priority in weight over any other consideration which is not it right-based. Clearly, it is true of many legal systems that constitutional rights, or some of them, should outweigh any other consideration which is not itself derived from a constitutional right. But that seems to be primarily because of the constitutional status of the right[6][7]. Both in law and in morality many rights are of a rather trivial nature. In morality such rights can, arguably, sometimes be justifiably outweighed even by considerations of personal convenience (cf. Raz (1978))[8]. Likewise in law it appears that a lot of prima facie rights can be overpowered by what the court observes as reflections of the general benefit. Dworkin’s (1977) response to the latter type of criticism has been to argue that, on closer inspection, the consideration opposing the right can be seen as itself an instantiation of another general right[9]. However this relies on the debatable claim that the only deliberations that courts can rightly rely upon are pre-existing rights. The protest has also been hoisted that, as a common theory of the nature of rights, it threats being self-crushing, since any consideration whatever can then be disputed to be right-based, which makes rights with no special role in sensible analysis

In the middle of those who consider that rights can be examined, as a minimum in division, into duties, permissions and powers, there is a additional main dissection. Some feel that the core of a right is to have option or have power over the equivalent duty etc. Others think that the main thing is that one’s interests are protected by the duty etc[10]. Hart and Wellman are amongst those maintaining some version of the second.

  1. Legal Duties

In common law, legal duties is a legal obligation forced on a person considering that they stick on to a yardstick of reasonable care while doing any actions that could predictably hurt others. This is the primary component that is needed to be developed to carry on with an act in negligence. The applicant must be capable of showing a legal duty compulsory by law that the defendant has violated. Sequentially, violating a duty may put a person to accountability. The legal duty may be made obligatory by law of operation between folks with no present straight association (familial or contractual or otherwise), but ultimately become linked in some way as cleared by universal law.

Legal duty may be measured a development of the social contract, the implied tasks held by folks towards others inside society. It is not a prerequisite that legal duty be defined by law, although it will frequently extend through the jurisprudence of common law.

3.1. Development of legal Duties

At universal law, duties were previously restricted to those with whom one was in accountability one way or another, as demonstrated by situations like Winterbottom v. Wright (1842). In the early 20th century, judges began to recognize that the cold realities of the Second Industrial Revolution (in which end users were frequently several parties removed from the original manufacturer) implied that enforcing the privities requirement against hapless consumers had harsh results in many product liability cases[11]. The plan of a general duty that runs to all who could be subsequently  affected by one’s behavior accompanied by the knocking down of the privities obstacle first appeared in the landmark U.S. “Case of MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. and was imported into UK law by another landmark case, Donoghue v Stevenson. Both MacPherson and Donohue were product liability cases”[12].

3.2. The Yardstick of Legal Duty

One time a duty is implied, the applicant must show that the defendant violated it. This is usually considered as the second element of inattention in the common law. Breach involves assessing the defendant’s events alongside the benchmark of a sensible individual, which differs based on the details of the case. For example, doctors will be held to accountable standards for associates of their line of work, rather than those of the general public, in carelessness actions for medical negligence.

Consecutively, once the suitable standard has been established, the violation is confirmed when the applicant shows that the defendant’s behavior fell beneath or did not attain the appropriate standard of logical care.

Nevertheless, it is likely that the defendant took every probable safety measure and surpassed what would have been completed by any levelheaded person, yet the claimant was wounded. If that is the situation, the applicant cannot recover in laxity. This is the key difference between negligence and strict legal responsibility; if strict accountability attaches to the defendant’s behavior, then the applicant can recuperate under that hypothesis in spite of of whatever safety measures were taken by the defendant.[13]

3.3. The Duties of a Citizen

The expression “citizen segment” applies to the empire of action that transports the authority of private citizens to bear on significant public concerns. Implied in the thought of a vivacious citizen area are vivacious citizens—persons, families and societies that dedicate their time and liveliness to public reasons. They listen to town meetings, keep an eye on elections, volunteer at schools, and donate for the betterment of the society.

The growth and extension of democracy has made the citizen division not only potential, but totally essential. From beginning to end their civic commitment, citizens help community rise; they cling to their government to principles of answerability, lucidity, and receptiveness. This up-and-coming sector has been growing at an unparalleled rate over the last three decades and is reordering the way the job of society gets completed.

The continuing attempt to authorize citizens to create constructive social alteration is clearly spoken in the work of the people around the world. Whether successfully systematizing the voices of private citizens or by making people understand that causative to society also benefits the self, social entrepreneurs are authorizing a society of contribution.

  1. The Correlation between Legal right and Legal duty

Hohfeld, a legal philosopher, highlighted the connection between rights and duties and also the distinction between right and privilege[14]. Hohfeld stressed that there cannot be a right without a duty. Right in one person assumes a duty in a different person. The notion of a right without a duty is pointless. Similarly he also pointed out the differences between rights and privileges. “A privilege is obtainable on sufferance. It is a judgment vested in the person surrendering it. A right is a power. On this study what are generally called rights to employment, wellbeing, etc, are not rights. A right to employment is pointless if there is no person who is under a duty to employ. Welfare is not a right. It is a privilege which is given to few individuals”[15].

 4.1. One’s Right involves duty to another person

Whether one have the same opinion with this study or not, it is irrefutable that at the rational level a right involves a duty in another individual or organization. As an necessary commonsense consequence, it must also engage an reception of that duty by the person who is involved to it. “It is sarcastic in society today that while more and more people are demanding rights, fewer and fewer people are concerned about duties, least of all those who are most vocal in the assertion of rights”[16]. Governments, the Human Rights Commission and many other government organizations provide hesitant management in this subject. “They are humanizing people about their rights and are trying to make more and more rights accessible with no position to reason and commonsense. But they seem apathetic about the need to teach people about duties and the significance of a sense of liability”[17]

4.2. Without Legal duties Legal rights become mare Obsession.

A hazardous side-effect of the wellbeing state and the growth of government is a deep attitudinal modification in the social order which makes people demand more and more and contribute less and less. This alteration of the social consciousness has taken place unnoticeably to the end that it automatically permeates the whole society. “The anxiety with rights (particularly state created social and economic rights) has become an obsession. Although this is not an intrinsic evil, the pursuit of rights becomes self defeating when it is unaccompanied by the commitment to duties”[18]. The forces used by interest groups have become the leading characteristic of the current era. These demands come not only from the poor and the disadvantaged, but also from advantaged academic, technical, social and business groups. At the same time there is a rowdy silence on the question of individual accountability.

4.3. Rights are demanded and duties are forgotten

The domineering wellbeing state has become a super patriarchal body from which each member has come to anticipate answers to all troubles. Rights are demanded and duties forgotten.

4.4. Duties are more important than Rights for any achievement

The Holy Quran emphasizes duties and responsibilities not rights. The Ten Commandments are duties. Duties have been more important than rights in the achievement. The stress on rights to the near keeping out of duties and responsibilities in modern society is a test. There is a serious danger in the push towards lawmaking recognition of subjective of so-called rights in response to the demands of politically powerful pressure communities.

4.5. A duty-centered society is preferable to a right-centered society

A duty-centered society is preferable to a right-centered society. If persons are worried about their duties, responsibilities and commitments, they cannot but be troubled about the civil rights and freedoms of other individuals. A right-centered civilization is one in which persons declare their rights. “They are encouraged by the Human Rights Commission and like Commonwealth and State bodies, to demand rights, with no consideration for the effect of those demands on other people, e.g. the right to protest and demonstrate conflicts with the right of pedestrians and motorists to use the public roads for the purpose for which roads are built”[19].

Governments and influential communities which emphasizes on rights, give no consideration to how rights can work in the lack of a situation in which the importance of duties is highlighted.

“There is no end to the so-called rights which can be demanded. A right-conscious society, in effect, recognizes a few rights and neglects many others. The rights that are recognized are those which are demanded by the powerful, the aggressive and the nasty”[20].

“There cannot be a right without a duty. An endless dissonance of demands by interest groups for rights has become a dominant feature of the modern State fed by legislation which encourages these demands”[21]. At the same time there is a deafening silence on the question of individual responsibility. The time has come to realize and to emphasize that rights, whether material or political, depend on the discharge of duties. “Wealth and prosperity are created by effort. Only continuing effort can sustain them. Western societies through effort have achieved a level of prosperity unparalleled in history”[22].

History has repeatedly confirmed that the greatest of civilizations turn down and fall when they give way to luxury at the cost of order and Endeavour. “The fates of Egyptian and Roman civilizations are prime examples. It is not too early for Western Civilization to heed the supreme lesson of human experience”[23].


In the end it can be said that without fulfilling one’s legal duties one cannot achieve its legal rights. Everyday people are screaming on the top of their voice, we are dying without our rights but on the contrary they are not at all concerned about the duties they have. To help the government become successful we don’t have any other choice apart from starting to be careful about our own responsibility. As of today we blame the government about the traffic jam that we face every day of our lives. We always claim to have the jam free roads. But if we start to follow our duty such as following traffic rules then with a little help of the government intervention we can easily achieve what is rightfully ours. At the end of the day after al those study we can all claim in one word that in strict sense legal rights are correlative to legal duties.

  [1] See Harris, J.W. (1996), Property and Justice, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp 221.

[2] See Austin, John, (1885). Lectures on Jurisprudence, or the Philosophy of Positive Law, 5th edition, R. Campbell (ed.), 2 volumes, London: John Murray, Pp 337.

[3] See Bentham, Jeremy (1970 [1782]). Of Laws in General, H.L.A. Hart (ed.), London: Athlone Press. (Many of Bentham’s other numerous, but scattered, discussions of rights are referred to in Hart 1973.)

[4] See Hohfeld, Wesley New combe (1919). Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, W.W. Cooke (ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, pp 424.

[5] See White, Alan R. (1984). Rights, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp 19.

[6] See Dworkin, Ronald M. (1981). “Is there a Right to Pornography?”, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 1: 177–213; reprinted in his A Matter of Principle, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985, pp 176.

[7] See Dworkin, Ronald M. (1975). “Hard Cases” Harvard Law Review, 88: 1057–1110; reprinted in his Taking Rights Seriously, supra, pp 81.

[8] See Raz, Joseph (1984b). “Legal Rights”, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 4: 1–21; reprinted in his Ethics in the Public Domain: Essays in the Morality of Law and Politics, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994, 238 pp 178.

[9] See Dworkin, Ronald M. (1977). “Seven Critics”, Georgia Law Review, 11: 1201–1268, pp 45.

[10] See Hart, H.L.A. (1979). “Between Utility and Rights”, in A. Ryan (ed.), The Idea of Freedom: Essays in Honour of Isaiah Berlin, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 77; reprinted in his Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1983, pp 198.

[11] See Hohfeld, Wesley Newcombe (1919). Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, W.W. Cooke (ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, pp 278.

[12] See Nickel, James W. (1987). Making Sense of Human Rights: Philosophical Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, pp134.

[13] See Honore, Anthony M. (1960). “Rights of Exclusion and Immunities Against Divesting”, Tulane Law Review, 34: pp 453–468.

[14] See Hohfled, H.L.A. (1979). “Between Utility and Rights”, in A. Ryan (ed.), The Idea of Freedom: Essays in Honour of Isaiah Berlin, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 77; reprinted in his Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1983, pp 198.

[15]  See Hohfled, H.L.A. (1973). “Bentham on Legal Rights”, in A.W.B. Simpson (ed.), Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence, Second Series, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 171; reprinted in his Essays on Bentham: Jurisprudence and Political Theory, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982, pp 162.

[16] See Meyer, Lukas H., Paulson, Stanley L., and Pogge, Thomas W. (eds.) (2003). Rights, Culture and the Law: Themes from the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[17]  See Kramer, Matthew H., Simmonds, N.E. and Steiner, Hillel (1998). A Debate Over Rights: Philosophical Enquiries, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

[18] See Nickel, James W. (1987). Making Sense of Human Rights: Philosophical Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, pp 45.

[19]  See Waldron, Jeremy (1981). “A Right to do Wrong”, Ethics, 92: 21–39; reprinted in his Liberal Rights: Collected Papers 1981–1991, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp 63.

[20] See Nickel, James W. (1987). Making Sense of Human Rights: Philosophical Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press.

[21] See Dworkin, Ronald M. (1975). “Hard Cases” Harvard Law Review, 88: 1057–1110; reprinted in his Taking Rights Seriously, supra, pp 81.

[22] See Kramer, Mattthew H. and Steiner, Hillel (2007). “Theories of Rights: Is There a Third Way?”, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 27: pp 281–310

[23] See Hohfeld, Wesley Newcombe (1919). Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning, W.W. Cooke (ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, pp 170.