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)