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Liberty IntactHuman Rights in English Law$
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Michael Tugendhat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.001.0001

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Right of Resistance

Right of Resistance

(p.77) 6 Right of Resistance
Liberty Intact

Michael Tugendhat

Oxford University Press

The right of resistance is the supreme assertion, or main function, of the rights of mankind or human rights. It has been used to justify rebellions, since before Magna Carta, and it underlies the right to access to justice. It arises in jury trial from the power of a jury to acquit against the weight of the evidence and agains the judge’s direction on the law (Bushell’s Case 1607). The common law right to self-defence includes resistance to an unlawful arrest, and, in the US, in the right to bear arms. A right of resistance is also recognized in civil disobedience (Henry Thoreau). It is institutionalized in regular elections and in a loyal political opposition. It was asserted in the Bill of Rights 1689. It is recognized in the French Declaration and the UDHR.

Keywords:   Bushell’s Case, self-defence, right to bear arms, standing army, civil disobedience, Lutheranism, absolutism

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