CHAPTER 12 : CIVIL LIBERTIES
Civil liberties may be described as the basic rights of men and women in a free society. They are positive, as for example freedom of speech, assembly, petition and press. They are protective since they limit the threatened aggressions of public agencies or private individuals. They
are also protected by law and the courts. Civil liberties, in a comprehensive
sense, may be regarded as the natural rights to which all men and women
are entitled, according to public opinion. Legally, it is proper to consider
civil liberties as personal and property rights that are guaranteed by
constitutions and laws against violations by governments and individuals.
Men in all ages have recognized certain civil liberties of the individual.
Thus the Greeks felt that men could not be condemned without a trial.
The Romans also had similar beliefs. The great documents of English liberty
such as the Magna Carta (1215) the Petition of Rights (1628)
and the Bill of Rights (1689), are part of the American political
heritage which has a high respect for human freedom.
12.1 Perspective on Civil Liberties
12.2 The First Amendment:Freedom of Religion
The First Amendment:Freedom of Speech
12.4 The First Amendment:Freedom of Press
The Rights of Defendants
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