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Study Guide

[CRIM 335] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (102 pages long!)

102 Pages

Course Code
CRIM 335
David Mac Alister

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SFU CRIM 335 FINAL EXAM STUDY GUIDE find more resources at Module1HuaRightsiCotext In Western democracies, human rights and civil liberties are an important But a tension exists between the rights and freedoms held by individuals and the need to protect collective or community interests. Each society must strike a balance between individual and collective rights. Often, the individual rights that come under fire are those of minority in society Terminology A human right = something that a person has a right to simply by virtue of being a human being. It is not a right that they have acquired through contract or some other legal mechanism; rather, it is something that is innate to all humans. Human rights generally refer to claims in which someone asserts that others must do something. Rights imply corresponding duties. Civil liberties has the concept of liberty at its core. A liberty is a synonym for freedom. When we are at liberty, or have freedom to do something, we are generally viewed as possessing a privilege. A liberty implies the absence of a duty or the discretion to do as we please. Fundamental freedoms are the same as liberties. They involve conduct that we are free to engage in without restriction. Usually, they refer to freedom from something. For a freedom to be fundamental, it must be something that is essential to life, particularly life in a democratic society. We typically think of civil liberties or fundamental freedoms as being able to engage in action without government interference. The terminology becomes confusing if we think about a right to a freedom. Some freedoms are so fundamental that we think of them as being liberties that must be guaranteed to us. Generally we think that the government is required to respect and protect our freedomsin this sense, we may have a right to a freedom against the government or to be let alone in a certain realm of our life. Critical Views of Human Rights and Civil Liberties critical views of basic rights documents and fundamental rights theory in general. Positive Law Critique Human rights regarded as superior or higher o Thus can override other laws, act as limit on powers of state o A classic problem in the area of rights and freedoms has been ascertaining the precise content or scope of the concepts. o Terms like equality and expression used to define rights, but the scope is expanding (eg right not to ingest other peoples smoke, right not to be exposed to government pesticide) o If these rights are basic, fundamental, and enduring, how can their content change over time? Could it be that these rights are not so fundamental after all? Could it even be that there is no such thing as basic or fundamental rights? Jeremy Bentham and John Austin criticized natural law o Said real law is positive law = command of a sovereign backed up by the threat of a sanction. find more resources at
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