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Fundamental Rights

Definition - What does Fundamental Rights mean?

Fundamental rights are the rights granted the most protection by a government’s highest judicial decision-making body. In many countries, fundamental rights are considered so sacred, and so essential to a democratic society, that they are listed in the country’s constitution.

American fundamental rights include the rights specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights, such as the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.

Justipedia explains Fundamental Rights

Democracy is predicated upon the protection of fundamental rights. These rights are often considered universal, human rights.

Common documents that list fundamental rights include Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Government actions that possibly infringe on fundamental rights are often subject to the strictest scrutiny within the judicial system. Common fundamental rights include the right to due process of law, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble peacefully, and freedom of expression.

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