Human Rights
Ronald Dworkin: " …individuals have a right to equal concern and respect in the design and administration of the institutions that govern them….  They possess [this right] not by virtue of birth or characteristic or merit or excellence but simply as human beings with the capacity to make plans and give justice.”

Sniderman, Russell et al.:  commitment to tolerance.

My approach:  every human being deserves -- and owes to others -- respect and fair treatment.

C.B. Macpherson:  rights include opportunities to exercise those rights (positive rights).

“human right”:  derived either from positive law, or natural law.  (eg. legal rights in Charter)
“civil liberty”:  ability to act without constraints (eg. the “fundamental freedoms” in Charter)

Rights in liberal democracies:
1.  optimal freedom
     J.S. Mill:  “harm” principle for limits
2.  procedural fairness when there are limits
3.  equality of application of rights and freedoms

Limits to rights:
-some differences in ability (eg. qualifications for driver's license, or to become a doctor)
-promote honesty (eg. limits to freedom of speech:  suits for defamation)
-need to preserve public order
-to deal with emergencies
-resolve conflicts of rights
-community-wide restrictions on moral behaviour (eg pornography)