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How Law Works$
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Ross Cranston

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780199292073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199292073.001.0001

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Rights in Practice

Rights in Practice

(p.215) 7 Rights in Practice
How Law Works

Ross Cranston

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores whether legal and social rights translate into practice. It begins by examining the civil and political rights, primarily those which relate to equality before the law, before turning to the social rights of the modern welfare state. It is stated that the formal interpretation of equality can be far from completely realized in practice. Examples from criminal law can be applied to show the first type of inequality in the administration of the law. Making social ‘rights’ effective in practice may face formidable obstacles if at base social and economic inequalities and negative attitudes are involved. The effects of structural factors of this nature are not always capable of significant amelioration by changes in legal form and procedure.

Keywords:   legal rights, social rights, equality, civil rights, political rights

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