LEGAL RIGHTS Kinds of Legal Rights - Rights and Duties


Legal Rights Kinds of Legal Rights


LEGAL RIGHTS Kinds of Legal Rights
LEGAL RIGHTS Kinds of Legal Rights

(Q.1) Define legal right. Explain the essentials of legal right?

(Q.2) Explain with examples the following types of legal rights?


A right created or recognized by law. A right historically recognized by common law courts is legal right


According to Hebert

''A right is one person's capacity of obliging others to do or forbear by means not of his own strength but by the strength of a third party. If such third party is God, the right is divine. If such third party is the public generally acting through opinion, the right is moral. If such third party is the state acting directly, the right is legal.''

According to Gray

''A legal right is that power which a man has to make a person or persons do or refrain from doing a certain act or certain acts, so for as the power arises from society imposing a legal duty  upon a person or persons.''

According to Salmond

''A right is an interest recognized and protected by a rule of right. It is any interest, respect for which is a duty and the disregard of which is a wrong.''

According to Holland

''A right is a capacity residing in one man of controlling, with the assent and the assistance of the state, the actions of the others.''

According to Justice Holmes

''A legal right is nothing but a permission to exercise certain natural powers and upon certain conditions to obtain protection, restitution or compensation by the aid of public force.''

According to Pollock

''Right is freedom allowed and power conferred by law.''

According to Buckland

''A Legal right is an interest or an expectation guaranteed by law.''

According to T. H. Green

''Rights are powers which it is for general well being that the individual should possesses.''

According to K. R. R. Shastri

''A right may be defined as an interest recognized and protected or guaranteed by the state since it is conducive to social well-being.''


According to Salmond, every legal right has five essential elements

(1) Owner of the right

The first essential element is that there must be a person who is the owner of the right

(2) Legal right against another person

A legal right accrues against another person or persons who are under a corresponding duty to respect that right. Such a person is called the person of incidence or subject of the duty.


''If ''A'' has a particular right against ''B'', ''A'' is the person of and ''B'' the subject of incidence.''

(3) Content or Substance

''Another essential element of a legal right is its content or substance. It may be an act which the subject of incidence is bound to do or it may be a forbearance on his part.''

(4) Object of the right

Another essential element is the object of the right. This is the thing over which the right is exercised. This may also be called the subject matter of the right.

(5) Title of the Right

Another essential element of a legal right is the title to the right. Facts must show how the right vested in the owner of the right. That may be by purchase, gift, inheritance, assignment, prescription, etc.

(6) Parties to a legal Right

According to Austin, there are three parties to a legal right. The first party is the state or the sovereign which confers legal rights on certain individuals and which imposes corresponding duties on others. The second party is the person or persons on whom the right is conferred. The third party is the person or persons on whom the duty is imposed or to whom the law is set or directed.



  • ·    Perfect and Imperfect rights

According to Salmond, a perfect right is one which corresponds to a perfect duty. A perfect duty is one which is not merely recognized by law but also enforced by law. There are rights and duties which, though recognized by law, not perfect nature. Those rights are called in perfect rights. Examples of imperfect rights are the claims but by the lapse of time, claims which cannot be enforced on account of the absence of some special form of legal prove.


A contract specially enforceable through the Court of law is an example of perfect right.

  • ·    Positive and Negative rights

According to Salmond, a positive right corresponds to a positive duty and entitles its owner to have something done for him without the performance of which his enjoyment of the right is imperfect and incomplete. Negative rights have negative duties corresponding to them and enjoyment is complete unless interference takes place. The majority of negative rights are against the world.


My right to the performance of a contract of service is a positive one. If another person owes some money to me, my right to the money in the pocket of that person is a positive one. If I have some money in my pocket, my right to it is a negative right. The right of a first processor to quiet enjoyment is a negative one. It corresponds to the negative duty of all others not to interfere.

Example 2

‘A’ borrows money to ‘B’. It is the right of ‘B’ that ‘A’ gave money back to ‘B’.

Example 3

If I have some money in my pocket. I have a negative right against all others not to disturb it.

  • ·    Real and Personal Rights

 According to Salmond, a real ride corresponds to a duty imposed upon persons in general. A personal right corresponds to a duty imposed upon the terminate individuals.  A real right it is available against the whole world. A personal right is available only against a particular person.

EXAMPLE 1: - My right to the Possession and use of money in my purse is a real right. However, my right to receive money from a person who owes me is a personal right.

Example 2:-
I have a right to be deprived of my life is a real right as it is available against the whole world.

Example 3:-
I have a personal right to receive compensation form any individual who is any harms me.


  • ·    Rights in rem and Rights in personam

 These terms are derived from the Roman terms ''Action in rem'' and ''Action in personam ''. An action in rem as an action for the recovery of dominium. The plaintiff claimed that a certain thing belong to him to be restored or given to him. An action in personum was one for the enforcement of an obligative. In such a case the plaintiff claim the payment of money, e the performance of a contract for the protection of some other personal right vested in him as against the defendant. The right protected by an actio in rem came to be called jus in rem and a right protected by actio in personum came to be called jus in personum.

Rights under a contract are right in Personam as the parties to the contract alone are bound by it.

  • ·      Proprietary and Personal rights

The proprietary rights of a person include his estate, is acids and his property in many forms. Proprietary rights have some economic or monetary value. Examples of proprietary rights are the right to debt, the right to Goodwill, the right to patent etc. proprietary rights are valuable but personal rights are not valuable. Proprietary rights are the elements of the wealth of a man. Personal rights are mainly elements in his wellbeing. Proprietary rights possesses not merely judicial but also economic importance. Personal rights possess merely judicial importance.

Example 1:-
The right to debt, the right to goodwill etc.

Example 2:-
Right to life, reputation etc. are personal rights.

  • ·    Inheritable and Uninheritable rights

A right it is inheritable if it survives its owners. It is uninheritable if it dies with him. Proprietary rights are inheritable but personal rights are uninheritable. The Heirs of a proprietary owner become owners after his death. In the case of personal rights, they die with the owner and cannot be inherited.


‘A’ dies leaves his property him ‘B’ his legal heir becomes owner of such property. This is an inheritable right.


LEGAL RIGHTS Kinds of Legal Rights - Rights and Duties


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