[Vocabulary] A constitutional right to ...

Status
Not open for further replies.

Kazuo

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
Hello!

We have a constitutional right to defend ourselves, our family, and our property. (Longman)

Does the sentence imply that there’re more than two constitutional rights to defend ourselves, etc.?

Thanks in advance
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Hello!

We have a constitutional right to defend ourselves, our family, and our property. (Longman)

Does the sentence imply that there’re more than two constitutional rights to defend ourselves, etc.?

Thanks in advance

No. It simply suggests that there is one constitutional right which is "the right to defend ourselves, our family, and our property".

There may of course be more, but only one is mentioned here.
 
Last edited:

2006

Banned
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Hello!

We have a constitutional right to defend ourselves, our family, and our property. (Longman)

Does the sentence imply that there’re more than two constitutional rights to defend ourselves, etc.?

No, the sentence only mentions "a" (= one) constitutional right to defend those three things. It doesn't imply anything else.
2006
 

Kazuo

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
Hello!

Thank you very much for your replies, emsr2d2 and 2006.

I think your replies seem to be slightly different in the number of constitutional right(s) implied from the sentence.
Or my reading might be wrong.

Thanks in advance
 

2006

Banned
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Hello!

Thank you very much for your replies, emsr2d2 and 2006.

I think your replies seem to be slightly different in the number of constitutional right(s) implied from the sentence.
Or my reading might be wrong. No, emsr2d2 and I seem to disagree.

Thanks in advance
In my opinion, no rights are implied by that sentence; one right is stated.

It's highly likely that there are additional constitutional rights, but the sentence itself in no way implies that. The sentence only says what it says, without implying anything else!
 

Kazuo

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
Hello, emsr2d2!

First, I have to put right ‘more than two constitutional rights’ in my original posting. Instead, I use ‘more than one constitutional right’.

The main subject is;
Would you please explain your response in more detail, as there seems to be some disagreement between you and 2006 concerning my question?

Thanks in advance
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Hello, emsr2d2!

First, I have to put right ‘more than two constitutional rights’ in my original posting. Instead, I use ‘more than one constitutional right’.

The main subject is;
Would you please explain your response in more detail, as there seems to be some disagreement between you and 2006 concerning my question?

Thanks in advance

Please note that I just went back and re-read my original reply! I did not mean to write that it suggested that there was "more than" one constititutional right, and I have now changed it.

I agree with 2006 that only one right is stated, although it is very likely of course that there are more.

Sorry for the confusion!
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
kazuo - be careful where you say this; it may not apply everywhere. In the UK you have a legal right to defend yourself, and various rights under UN and EEC conventions. But if, in the UK, you claim to have 'a constutional right' you may be on shaky ground (though I'm not a lawyer...)

b
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
kazuo - be careful where you say this; it may not apply everywhere. In the UK you have a legal right to defend yourself, and various rights under UN and EEC conventions. But if, in the UK, you claim to have 'a constutional right' you may be on shaky ground (though I'm not a lawyer...)

b

Good point. Hard to have constitutional rights when we don't have a constitution!
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Although we do use "Constitutional rights" somewhat metaphorically at times (the other day I was talking to someone who was at the end of her pregnancy and referred to our Constitutional right to have our babies no later than our due date" [anyone who who has ever been 40 weeks pregnant will get that]), there is no part of the Constitution that lists the right that was the subject of this post.
 

philadelphia

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
France
I am reading law in France and have studied British and American laws. I must confess we often use the terms 'constitutional rights' although it is about an unwritten, uncodified or de facto constitution. It would seem that constitutional is rather used in that case to establish a chain of norms

That is common law legal system - eg fundamental principles in UK are mainly based on precedents of the courts - opposed to civil law - eg France has a codified constitution.

Not a teacher at all
 
Last edited:

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
I am reading law in France and have studied British and American laws. I must confess we often use the terms 'constitutional rights' although it is about an unwritten, uncodified or de facto constitution. It would seem that constitutional is rather used in that case to establish a chain of norms
Interesting. So what term do lawyers use when they want to specify a right that derives from a constitution? - "Constitutional Rights with a big C"?
 

philadelphia

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
France
Interesting. So what term do lawyers use when they want to specify a right that derives from a constitution? - "Constitutional Rights with a big C"?

I mean the term constitutional is in that case being widened through the lack of accuracy or because of the hierarchical superiority of that term!

As for France, there is no big deal because a lawyer will refer to the current constitution CQFD
Regarding England, this is the matter because there is no codified constitution and then the lawyer must use the specific term and not that very unaccurate one. The more accurate would be fundamental right here, for there is a difference between a constitutional right and a fundamental right. The first one derives from a constitution and the second one from a written document (often an act of Parliament - eg the Bill of Rights). So, it is not correct for a lawyer to appeal for a constitutional right while that is a fundamental right. Nonetheless nowadays it is getting common
 

SoothingDave

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Although we do use "Constitutional rights" somewhat metaphorically at times (the other day I was talking to someone who was at the end of her pregnancy and referred to our Constitutional right to have our babies no later than our due date" [anyone who who has ever been 40 weeks pregnant will get that]), there is no part of the Constitution that lists the right that was the subject of this post.

Not a teacher, and well off topic.

I suggest you read the 9th Amendment to the US Constitution.

And consult discourses on British Common Law.

Cause if you think you need a particular explicit mention in the US Constitution in order to have a right, you are mistaken.

Do you think I have the right to come into your house, kill you and take all of your stuff?

That's preposterous. The right to defend oneself and one's property precedes any written constitution.

It's not granted by any government and can not be morally taken away by any.
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Not a teacher, and well off topic.

I suggest you read the 9th Amendment to the US Constitution.

And consult discourses on British Common Law.

Cause if you think you need a particular explicit mention in the US Constitution in order to have a right, you are mistaken.

Do you think I have the right to come into your house, kill you and take all of your stuff?

That's preposterous. The right to defend oneself and one's property precedes any written constitution.

It's not granted by any government and can not be morally taken away by any.

Of course not. Sounds to me like a straw man. The discussion is not about rights in general, and it's facile to suggest that it is. :-|

The fact remains that in Br Eng people don't, in everyday discourse, refer to 'constitutional rights' - they refer to moral/natural law/legal (etc) rights. I haven't done the research, but I'd be surprised if it were not the case that the case that everyday/colloquial reference to 'constutional rights' - even in metaphorical and jocular cases, such as the one Barb cited - is more common in countries that have a written constitution.

b
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top