Legal Rights – Rights Kinds

The standard of permitted action within a certain sphere are called rights. In other words, a right is any action of a person which law permits. Legal rights is different from a moral or natural right in the sense that it is recognized & protected by law, whereas the latter may/may not be recognized & protected by law. We shall now, discuss the types of rights in detail.

Kinds of Legal Rights

In simple words, the court of law can enforce legal rights against persons and also against the government. A legal right is an interest accepted and protected by law. Also, any debasement of any legal right is punishable by law. Legal rights affect every citizen. Legal rights are equally available to all the citizens without the discrimination of caste, creed & sex.

I. Perfect & Imperfect Rights

The perfect right has the following features:

  1. It is recognized by law.
  2. It is enforceable by law. So, in the case of breach of this right, a person may go to court for enforcing this right.

Thus, all fundamental rights, viz. Right to equality, right to religion, etc. are perfect rights as these are enforceable by law.

The imperfect right has the following features:

  1. It is recognized by law.
  2. It is not enforceable by law. This means that a person cannot go to court for the breach of imperfect right.

All the time-bound claims or debts come under the category of imperfect rights.

II. Positive & Negative Rights

The basis of distinguishing right as positive or negative is the nature of correlative duty it carries with it.

Under Positive rights, the person has to perform some positive duty to fulfill this right.

Negative rights prevent a person to do some act, that is it corresponds to a negative duty. Example: Right to life under article 21 of the Indian constitution is a negative right because it prevents a person to kill another person.

III. Real & Personal Rights

Real right or right in- rem corresponds to the duty imposed upon the people in general. It is available against the whole world in general. Example: Tort or crime is a real right.

Personal right or right in-persona is available against a particular person & it corresponds to duty the duty imposed upon a particular person. Therefore, the personal right generally arises out of contractual obligation. Example: breach of contract is a personal right.

Legal Rights

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IV. Proprietary & Personal Rights

A proprietary right is available with respect to a property that is it relates to the owner & his assets. The assets must have some monetary value. Example: the right to ownership of property, Right to patent, Right to goodwill, etc.

A personal right is related to a person’s life i.e. his reputation or standing in the society. These rights promote a person’s well being in society & have no economic value. Example: Right to life.

V. Public & Private Rights

The rights which are vested in a person by state or govt. or constitution is called public rights. Example: Right to vote, Right to use public parks, etc.

Private rights are connected with private individuals or persons. Example: A contract entered into by two people gives rise to private rights to them.

VI. Inheritable & Uninheritable Rights

Inheritable rights can be passed from one generation to another, i.e. this right survives even after the death of its owner. Example: A son is a legal heir to the property of his father after his death.

Uninheritable rights die with the death of its owner. Example: All personal rights are uninheritable rights.

V. Right in repropria & Right in realiena

A person possesses Right in repropria with respect to his own property. He can use, dispose of, destroy, modify or exclude others from his property. Thus, this right gives a person, absolute ownership over the property.

Right in realiena is the right in the property of another person. Example: Right of way over the neighbor’s field. So, it is not an absolute right.

Solved Example on Legal Rights

Identify the type of rights in the following:

  1. Harsh gives a loan to Sanjana & Sanjana fails to repay the loan. In this case, Harsh can file a claim against Sanjana.
  2. Ram receiving compensation from Shyam is a positive right of Ram & Shyam must perform a positive duty to recognize this right of Ram.


  1. Imperfect right.
  2. Positive right.
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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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