Rawls describes individual rights as, “rights representing the moral rights of individuals in society prior to government. Individual rights are principles that identify and sanction certain interactions between individuals in a society while excluding others,” (20) Different countries have different ways of guarding their citizens’ human rights. Governments that respect individual rights often provide for comprehensive controls that protect individual rights.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the body that deals with the rights of Canadian citizens. The Charter is law and is part of the Canadian constitution. Since the charter is law, the federal government can not easily make changes to it. It is also stronger than laws the provinces create. www.hrweb.org/.
It guarantees freedoms called fundamental freedoms; freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief and expression, including freedom of all media and other press. Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association is also guaranteed.
These are the basic freedoms that the Canadian citizens share. However, the Charter allows for the limit of these freedoms under certain circumstances like, restricting the freedom of assembly in time of war. To help a disadvantaged group achieve equality, it allows differential treatment. The Chatter is to be interpreted in way that preserves and enhances the multicultural heritage of Canadians.
The United States constitution on human rights is very similar in content to the outlined Canadian individual rights apart from the some rights in the Canadian Charter can be overridden by governments if they deliberately do so. This is not the case with the United States Human rights laws which cannot even be even removed entirely by a constitutional amendment as they are considered unchallengeable under the natural rights principles the Constitution is founded upon.
The United States human rights laws, unlike British laws are applicable to everyone in the country as a whole and are not subject to small state adherence. ‘Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein,’ (Rawls 25).
Unlike the British Human Rights Constitution that is set within the United Kingdom, United States made a universal declaration of its human rights protection strategy.
New Zealand, which is a former colony of Britain in its human rights protection aims at developing harmonious relationships between individuals and achievement of equal employment opportunity. New Zealand have accepted a very limited right to privacy on specific topics while primarily balancing privacy as one interest against security, commercial and political interests in fragmented legislation and tort law rulings, unlike Britain, which has very complete rules on privacy rights of individuals. www.hrweb.org/
Britain has a very complete and elaborate system in handling human rights issues. It has an official union that deals with human rights that is, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which has several protocols guarding human rights The protocols accepted vary from one state to another this is effective in reaching all targets as per their individual need.
These protocols include laws prohibiting death penalty, protection against torture, protection against slavery and forced labor with the exception of prison labor and national services. To those protected by the convention of liberty and lawful arrest.
Britain has also established a special court that deals with human rights violation, European Court of Human Rights, where the court decision is legally binding and the court awards damages. Inter-state rights violation cases can also be taken to this court for states that are party ton that protocol. This provides the individual with immunity against abuse and special hearing of cases. The protocol outlines the procedures of a fair trial. Religion, marriage and privacy are also covered in the British human rights laws. The protocols also prohibit discrimination of whatever kind.
The amendment of the laws for human rights is also possible with the British system, unlike the American system where the law is protect under natural rights systems. The British laws are much more flexible to meet the needs of the time and change of priority. When protocols are introduced, they need to pass the universal ratification before they come into force in order to maintain the institutional unity of the Convention machinery.
Despite the British human rights protection strategies being almost similar in content to the other countries, it is more elaborate and its administration being under its own special court makes it be independent of the general laws and normal courts jurisdiction. The application of the laws per state also gives the citizens a free choice when it comes to living by the set rules. Its amendments are also much more flexible to expansions and being managed by a special body and not politicians, it’s more effective in administration and management of issues.
Rawls, John, A Theory of Justice (Revised edition. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 1999.
“Human Rights”1st July, 2007.Worldwide Human Rights Network.25th May, 2007 www.hrweb.org/