Legal Rights: Right Duty Correlation

Legal rights are those rights which exist under the rules of legal systems and under the law. A legal right is a claim recognizable and enforceable by the law. Rights may be legal, social, or natural and which are allowed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or natural theory. Rights are fundamental to citizens. On the other hand legal duty is the responsibility to others to act according to the law and legal system. People enjoying legal rights need to perform legal duty also equally. So, a legal duty is the responsibility of the citizens of a lawful country. Let us discuss the rights and duties in detail.

Legal Rights: Right Duty Correlation

Legal Rights

A legal right is an interest which is recognized and protected by a rule of legal justice and the violation of which would be a legal wrong. It, therefore, follows that in all civilized societies law consists of those rules which control and standardizes the model conduct and behavior of people.

Also, it is the state which enforces the rights and duties created by such rules. The conception of right accordingly is of fundamental significance in the modern legal system because rights are indispensable for all civil societies.

SALMOND defines a right as interest and protected by a rule of right. It is any interest, respect for which is a duty, and this disregard of which is wrong.

Legal Duties

A duty is an obligatory act. It is an act the opposite of which would be the wrong behavior. It is something to do or denied doing in favor of another person. A man has a duty towards any matter for which he has a legal obligation. Thus, duties and wrongs are generally co-related.

According to KEETON, a duty is an act of forbearance which is enforced by the state in respect of a right vested in another and breach of which is a wrong act. Every right implies a co-relative duty and vice-versa. Duties are of two kinds, namely Legal and Moral.

rights and duties

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It is very much obvious that legal rights and duties both are simultaneously existing and related to each other. So, we can view a natural correlation between these two.

Thus, it will be clear from this discussion that right, duty and wrong all these three terms are related to each other.  We can conclude that the right has the following important components –

1) It is an interest.

2) This interest is recognized and protected by the rule of right “justice” and law.

3) This interest must be respected by someone else against whom interests are claimed, then that person is under a duty.

4) If this interest is not respected then the person who disregards it is said to have committed a wrong.

According to AUSTIN’S view, a state can have no legal rights against the subjects which are erroneous. All duties are relative just as all rights are. There can be no absolute duties and AUSTIN’S classification of duties into absolute and relative duties is unsound.

A perfect right is one which corresponds to a perfect duty.  A perfect duty is one which law not merely recognizes but also enforces. In a fully developed legal system, there are rights and duties which though recognized by law but are not perfect in nature. Both are important but we need not take any action for enforcing them.

The rights form a logical ground for action, but duties do not form a logical ground for action. In some cases, an imperfect right is sufficient for equality. Therefore, in summary, every right implies duty against somebody. There can be no right without a corresponding duty and similarly, there can be no duty without a corresponding right.

Solved Example on Rights and Duties

Give the relationship between right and duty with example.


Rights and duties have a close relationship and both are inseparable. Both are existing side by side. One can say that right and duty are the two sides of the same coin. If a legal system gives the right to life to its citizen, it also imposes an obligation on him to not to expose his life in trouble, as well as to respect the life and convenience of others. Thus, a strong legal system shall consist of Legal Rights and Legal Duties like its two non-separable parts.

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2 responses to “Purpose of Law – Concept of Justice”

  1. thank you for this website

  2. Wilson Siki says:

    This really helps me in my research home.

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