Bill of rights
A bill of rights is a list of the most important rights
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

 of the citizens of a country. The purpose of these bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

s is to protect those rights against infringement. The term "bill of rights" originates from England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where it referred to the Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

. Bills of rights may be entrenched or unentrenched. An entrenched bill of rights cannot be modified or repealed by a country's legislature through normal procedure, instead requiring a supermajority or referendum; often it is part of a country's constitution and therefore subject to special procedures applicable to constitutional amendments. An unentrenched bill of rights is a normal statute law and as such can be modified or repealed by the legislature at will. In practice, not every jurisdiction enforces the protection of the rights articulated in its bill of rights.

Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 is the only Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 country with neither a constitutional nor legislative bill of rights, although there is ongoing debate in many of Australia's states. Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

 has argued against a bill of rights for Australia as transferring power from elected politicians to unelected judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

s and bureaucrat
A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can comprise the administration of any organization of any size, though the term usually connotes someone within an institution of a government or corporation...

s. Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are the only regions of the nation's states to have a human rights bill.

List of bills of rights

  • Magna Carta
    Magna Carta
    Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

     (1215; England)
  • Golden Bull of 1222
    Golden Bull of 1222
    The Golden Bull of 1222 was a golden bull, or edict, issued by King Andrew II of Hungary. The law established the rights of the Hungarian nobility, including the right to disobey the King when he acted contrary to law . The nobles and the church were freed from all taxes and could not be forced to...

     (1222; Hungary)
  • Dušan's Code
    Dušan's Code
    Dušan's Code was enacted by Tsar Dušan in two state congresses: in May 21, 1349 in Skopje and amended in 1354 in Serres. It regulated all social spheres, so it can be considered a medieval Serbian constitution. The Code included 201 articles. The original manuscript is not preserved, but around...

     (1349; Serbia)
  • Twelve Articles (1525; Germany)
  • Pacta conventa
    Pacta conventa (Poland)
    Pacta conventa was a contractual agreement, from 1573 to 1764 entered into between the "Polish nation" and a newly-elected king upon his "free election" to the throne.The pacta conventa affirmed the king-elect's pledge to respect the laws of the...

     (1573; Poland)
  • Henrician Articles
    Henrician Articles
    The Henrician Articles or King Henry's Articles were a permanent contract that stated the fundamental principles of governance and constitutional law in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the form of 21 Articles written and adopted by the nobility in 1573 at the town of Kamień, near Warsaw,...

     (1573; Poland)
  • Petition of Right
    Petition of right
    In English law, a petition of right was a remedy available to subjects to recover property from the Crown.Before the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, the British Crown could not be sued in contract...

     (1628; England)
  • Bill of Rights 1689
    Bill of Rights 1689
    The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

     (England) and Claim of Right Act 1689
    Claim of Right Act 1689
    The Claim of Right is an Act passed by the Parliament of Scotland in April 1689. It is one of the key documents of Scottish constitutional law.-Background:...

     (Scotland) This applied to all British Colonies of the time, and was later entrenched in the laws of those colonies that became nations - for instance in Australia with the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 and reconfirmed by the Statute of Westminster 1931
    Statute of Westminster 1931
    The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

  • Virginia Bill of Rights (June 1776)
  • Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence
    United States Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

     (July 1776)
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is a fundamental document of the French Revolution, defining the individual and collective rights of all the estates of the realm as universal. Influenced by the doctrine of "natural right", the rights of man are held to be universal: valid...

     (1789; France)
  • Bill of Rights
    United States Bill of Rights
    The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

     of the United States Constitution
    United States Constitution
    The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

     (completed in 1789, ratified in 1791)
  • Constitution of Greece
    Constitution of Greece
    The Constitution of Greece , was created by the Fifth Revisional Parliament of the Hellenes and entered into force in 1975. It has been revised three times since, most significantly in 1986, and also in 2001 and in 2008. The Constitutional history of Greece goes back to the Greek War of...

     (1822; Epidaurus)
  • Hatt-ı Hümayun
    Hatt-i humayun
    Hatt-i humayun , also known as hatt-i sharif , is the diplomatics term for a document or handwritten note of an official nature by an Ottoman Sultan. The terms come from hatt , hümayun and şerif...

     (1856; Ottoman Empire)
  • Basic rights and liberties in Finland
    Constitution of Finland
    The Constitution of Finland is the supreme source of national law of Finland. It defines the basis, structures and organisation of government, the relationship between the different constitutional organs, and lays out the fundamental rights of Finnish citizens...

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

  • Fundamental rights and duties of citizens in People's Republic of China
    Constitution of the People's Republic of China
    The Constitution of the People's Republic of China is the highest law within the People's Republic of China. The current version was adopted by the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982 with further revisions in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. Three previous state constitutions—those of...

  • European Convention on Human Rights
    European Convention on Human Rights
    The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

  • Fundamental Rights of Indian citizens (1950)
  • Implied Bill of Rights
    Implied Bill of Rights
    The Implied Bill of Rights is a judicial theory in Canadian jurisprudence that recognizes that certain basic principles are underlying the Constitution of Canada...

     (a theory in Canadian constitutional law)
  • Canadian Bill of Rights
    Canadian Bill of Rights
    The Canadian Bill of Rights is a federal statute and bill of rights enacted by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's government on August 10, 1960. It provides Canadians with certain quasi-constitutional rights in relation to other federal statutes...

  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982...

  • Article III of the Constitution of the Philippines
    Constitution of the Philippines
    The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

  • Article 5 of the Constitution of Brazil
    Constitution of Brazil
    During its independent political history, Brazil has had seven constitutions. The most recent was ratified on October 5, 1988.-Imperial Constitution :Background...

  • New Zealand Bill of Rights Act
    New Zealand Bill of Rights Act
    The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is a statute of the New Zealand Parliament setting out the rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizens of New Zealand as a Bill of rights...

  • Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (1991)
  • Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa (entitled "Bill of Rights") (1996)
  • Human Rights Act 1998
    Human Rights Act 1998
    The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

     (United Kingdom)
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
    Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
    The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union citizens and residents, into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly proclaimed on 7 December 2000 by the European Parliament, the Council of...


See also

  • Bill of Rights Defense Committee
    Bill of Rights Defense Committee
    The Bill of Rights Defense Committee is a national grassroots organization that educates and mobilizes people from all walks of life to defend the Constitution in their local communities all across the country...

  • British Bill of Rights
    British Bill of Rights
    The British Bill of Rights can refer to:* Bill of Rights 1689, an Act of the Parliament of England made following the Glorious Revolution; considered one of the fundamental parts of the Constitution of the United Kingdom...

  • Civil rights
    Civil rights
    Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

  • Constitution of South Korea
  • Human rights
    Human rights
    Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

  • Inalienable rights
  • Natural rights
    Natural rights
    Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable...

  • Rule of law
    Rule of law
    The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

  • International human rights instruments
    International human rights instruments
    International human rights instruments are treaties and other international documents relevant to international human rights law and the protection of human rights in general...

External links

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