From LawGuru Wiki
Civil liberties is the name given to protection from the power of governments. Examples include due process (the right that the government do not take an individual's life, liberty, or property without a fair trial or other appropriate procedure); the right to self defence; the right to privacy; freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and freedom of assembly.
Most Western democracies (as well as many other countries) have constitutions and public policies that protect civil liberties. In those countries and elsewhere, disputes arise about particular issues -- whether they should be considered civil liberties at all, and, if so, whether they should be protected. Examples include reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, and possession of guns. Furthermore, even civil liberties that are legally protected have sometimes been abrogated, especially in time of war.
 European countries
France's 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen listed many civil liberties and is of constitutional force.
The Constitution of Canada includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees many of the same rights as the U.S. constitution, with the notable exception of protection against establishment of religion. However, the Charter does protect freedom of religion.
Main article: Civil liberties in the People's Republic of China
The People's Republic of China Constitution, especially its Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens, protects many civil liberties. However, these are often not enforced.
 United Kingdom
Template:Cleanup-date While the United Kingdom has no codified constitution, (it is only partially written) it is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which covers both human rights and civil liberties, and the Human Rights Act, which incorporates the great majority of Convention rights directly into UK law. Derry Irvine (then the Lord Chancellor) was praised widely for his legal skill in overseeing the drafting of the bill.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks the UK passed the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, Part 4 of which provided for the indefinite detention without trial of foreign nationals whom the Home Secretary suspected of involvement in terrorism. In order to pass this legislation, the UK derogated from Article 5 of the Convention on the grounds that the terrorist threat to the UK constituted a 'public emergency threatening the life of the nation' within the terms of Article 15. In December 2004, the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords ruled by a majority of 8-1 that Part 4 of the 2001 Act was incompatible with Articles 5 and 14 of the Convention. Although a majority of the Law Lords agreed that the terrorist threat to the UK constituted a public emergency within the meaning of Article 15, it found that the use of indefinite detention was both disproportionate (in that less restrictive measures were available) and discriminatory (since UK nationals suspected of terrorism were not liable to indefinite detention). This prompted the government to pass the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which provides for the use of 'control orders' against both UK and foreign nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism. The courts have yet to rule on the compatibility of these orders, although human rights groups have argued they are incompatible with both Article 5 (the right to liberty) and Article 6 (the right to a fair trial).
Despite the UK's liberal heritage, the Government's Information Commissioner stated in 2004 that the country is currently in danger of becoming a surveillance society. See also British national identity card.
 United States
Main article: Civil liberties in the United States
 See also
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Civil disobedience
- Civil libertarian
- Civil rights
- Criticisms of the War on Terrorism
- Freedom (political)
- Freedom House
- International Freedom of Expression Exchange
- Libertarian socialism
- Mass surveillance
- Privacy laws
- Second-class citizen
- State of emergency
 External links
- European Privacy Protection for Wikipedia Users on the blog of Jean-Baptiste Soufron
- Jean Edward Smith & Herbert M. Levine, Civil Liberties & Civil Rights Debated, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1988.