Privilege (legal ethics)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (June 2009)|
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth. By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth. Various older privileges, such as the old common law privilege to title deeds, may still exist, but be of little relevance today. Etymologically, a privilege (privilegium) means a "private law", or rule relating to a specific individual or institution.
One of the objectives of the French Revolution was the abolition of privilege. This meant the removal of separate laws for different social classes (nobility, clergy, and ordinary people), instead subjecting everyone to the same common law. Privileges were abolished by the National Constituent Assembly on August 4, 1789.
- Executive privilege
- Parliamentary privilege
- Privilege (canon law)
- Privilege (evidence)
- Privilège du blanc
- Privilege of Peerage
- Szlachta's privileges
|Look up privilege in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Suzanna McNichol, The Law of Privilege (1st ed., 1992)