NEW 📗Story: Island Hopper

Universal Civil Rights of the New Atlantic

·
·
Part of the law series of articles
The Universal Civil Rights of the New Atlantic, commonly the Universal Rights or Civil Rights Document is a document attached to the Vekllei Constitution. It enshrines the individual rights of all people in Vekllei.
  1. Universal Civil Rights

    1. The Universal Civil Rights of the New Atlantic guarantees fundamental rights to the individual person in Vekllei. It supports constitutional values of democracy, equality and freedom.

    2. The Vekllei Commonwealth (the Commonwealth) must maintain, defend, promote and fulfil these rights.

    3. The Vekllei person (the Citizen) has obligations to maintain, defend, promote and fulfil these rights as determined by law.

    4. These rights are inviolable where not subject to the limitations contained or referred to in section 30, or elsewhere in the Vekllei Constitution.

  2. Application of rights

    1. The political concept of civil rights applies to all law, and binds the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and all federal, commonwealth, republican and municipal agents of the country, thereafter recognised as ‘Vekllei’ or the ‘Commonwealth’.

    2. The political concept of civil rights also binds and entitles a natural or a juristic person to the extent that a right is applicable considering the nature of the right and its obligations.

    3. When applying a provision of the universal civil rights to a natural or juristic person in terms of subsection (2.2), a court ­

      1. must apply or develop the common law to the extent that legislation does not give effect to a universal civil right; and
      2. may develop the common law to limit the right, provided that the limitation is in accordance with section (30.1).
  3. Right to equal treatment

    1. Everyone is equal before the Commonwealth, including its laws, and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

    2. Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. Legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance individuals and categories of individuals may be taken.

    3. The Commonwealth may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

    4. No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3.3), and this right is to be protected by legislation.

    5. Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3.3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair.

  4. Right to Human dignity
    Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.

  5. Right to Life
    Everyone has the right to life.

  6. Freedom and security of the person

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right ­

      1. not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause, or be detained without trial;
      2. to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; and
      3. not to be tortured or treated in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
    2. Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right ­

      1. to security in and control over their body;
      2. to make decisions concerning reproduction; and
      3. not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.
  7. Right to Privacy
    Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have ­

    1. their person or home searched;
    2. their property searched;
    3. their possessions seized; or
    4. the privacy of their communications infringed.
  8. Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour
    No one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour.

  9. Freedom of religion, belief and opinion

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.

    2. Religious observances may be conducted in Commonwealth institutions where they follow rules established by the Ministry of Culture, are conducted on an equitable basis and their attendance is free and voluntary.

    3. This section does not prevent legislation recognising ­

      1. marriages conducted under any tradition or law consistent with this document and the Constitution; and
      2. systems of personal, religious or family law.
  10. Freedom of expression

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes ­

      1. freedom of the press and other media;
      2. freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;
      3. freedom of artistic creativity; and
      4. academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.
    2. The rights in subsection (10.1) do not extend to ­

      1. propaganda for war;
      2. incitement of imminent violence; or
      3. advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
  11. Freedom of assembly, demonstration, picket and petition
    Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.

  12. Freedom of association
    Everyone has the right to freedom of association.

  13. Right to political organisation and participation

    1. Every citizen is free to make political choices, which includes the right

      1. to participate in political organisations, and
      2. to campaign for a political belief or cause.
    2. Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established by the Constitution or organised by the Commonwealth Electoral Commission.

    3. Every adult citizen has the right ­

      1. to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution, and to do so in secret; and
      2. to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office.
  14. Citizenship
    No citizen may be deprived of citizenship.

  15. Freedom of movement and residence

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.

    2. Every citizen has the right to papers for travel and a passport.

    3. Everyone has the right to leave the Commonwealth.

    4. Every citizen has the right to enter, to remain in and to reside anywhere in, the Commonwealth.

  16. Freedom of trade, occupation and profession
    Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated by law.

  17. Freedom of language and culture
    Everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice, but no one exercising these rights may do so in a manner inconsistent with any right guaranteed in this document.

  18. Freedom of cultural, religious and linguistic communities

    1. Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community have the right to enjoy their culture, practise their religion and use their language, and to form, join and maintain associations and other organisations of civil society.

    2. The rights in subsection (18.1) may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of civil rights guaranteed in this document.

  19. Freedom of information

    1. Everyone has the right of access to, as guaranteed by legislation providing reasonable measures to alleviate administrative burden on the Commonwealth

      1. any information held by the Commonwealth; and
      2. any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.
  20. Right to fair labour relations

    1. Everyone has the right to fair labour practices.

    2. Every worker has the right ­

      1. to form and join a trade union or syndicate;
      2. to participate in the activities and programmes of a trade union or syndicate; and
      3. to strike.
    3. Every employer has the right ­

      1. to form and join an employers’ organisation; and
      2. to participate in the activities and programmes of an employers’ organisation.
    4. Every trade union, bureau and employers’ organisation has the right ­to determine its own affairs, organise, and form or join a federation.

    5. Every trade union, bureau, employers’ organisation and employer has the right to engage in collective bargaining. National legislation may be enacted to regulate collective bargaining. To the extent that the legislation may limit a right in this Chapter, the limitation must comply with section (30.1).

  21. Right to Environment
    Everyone has the right ­

    1. to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and

    2. to have the environment protected and preserved for the benefit of present and future generations by reasonable Commonwealth means, to prevent pollution and ecological degradation, and encourage conservation and sustainable development of resources.

  22. Right to property

    1. No one may be deprived of property arbitrarily.

    2. Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application ­

      1. for a public purpose or in the public interest; and
      2. subject to compensation, the nature of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.
    3. A claim to ownership of land may be determined by any ordinary court reflecting an equitable balance between the steward, public and sovereignty of nature, regarding all relevant circumstances, including

      1. the current use of the property;
      2. the history of the acquisition and use of the property;
      3. the utility and economic value of the property;
      4. the extent of direct investment and subsidy in the acquisition by relevant Commonwealth or private organisations; and
      5. the purpose of the expropriation.
    4. The Commonwealth must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.

    5. No provision of this section may impede the Commonwealth from taking measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to redress and improve the quality of life afforded to constituent peoples, provided that any departure from the provisions of this section is in accordance with the provisions of section (30.1).

  23. Right to housing

    1. Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing.

    2. The Commonwealth must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.

    3. No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.

  24. Right to healthcare, food, water and security

    1. Everyone has the right to have access to ­

      1. health care services, including reproductive health care;
      2. sufficient food and water; and
      3. social care, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.
    2. No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.

    3. The Commonwealth must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.

  25. Right to education

    1. Everyone has the right ­to a primary, secondary and tertiary education, including adult education.

    2. Everyone has the right to receive education in English and the official languages of the Commonwealth where that education is reasonably practicable.

    3. Everyone has the right to establish and maintain, at their own effort but not precluding Commonwealth assistance, independent educational institutions that ­

      1. do not discriminate on the basis of race;
      2. are registered with the Commonwealth;
      3. adhere to the National Curriculum as determined by the Education Parliament; and
      4. maintain standards that are not inferior to standards at comparable public educational institutions.
  26. Rights of children

    1. Every child, a person under the age of 18 years, has the right ­

      1. to a name and a nationality from birth;

      2. to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment;

      3. to nutrition, shelter, health care services and social services;

      4. to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;

      5. to be protected from exploitative labour practices;

      6. not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that ­are inappropriate for their age, or risk their well-being, health, or development.

      7. not to be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case only for the shortest appropriate period of time, and seperate from detained persons over the age of 18 years in a manner considerate of their age.

      8. to have a legal practitioner assigned to the child by the Commonwealth, and at Commonwealth expense, in civil proceedings affecting the child, if substantial injustice would otherwise result; and

      9. not to participate in war, and to be protected in times of war.

    2. A child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.

  27. Right to fair administrative action

    1. Everyone has the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable, efficient and procedurally fair.

    2. Everyone whose rights have been adversely affected by administrative action has the right to be given written reasons.

  28. Right to resolutions through courts
    Everyone has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum.

  29. Rights of detained and accused persons

    1. Everyone who is arrested for allegedly committing an offence has the right ­

      1. to remain silent;

      2. to be informed promptly ­of the right to remain silent and the consequences of not doing so;

      3. not to be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against that person;

      4. to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than ­48 hours after the arrest, or the end of the first court day thereafter, whichever is sooner;

      5. at the first court appearance after being arrested, to be charged or to be informed of the reason for the detention to continue; and

      6. to be released from detention if the interests of justice permit, subject to reasonable conditions.

    2. Everyone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right ­

      1. to be informed promptly of the reason for being detained;

      2. to choose, and to consult with, a legal practitioner, and to be informed of this right promptly;

      3. to have a legal practitioner assigned to the detained person by the Commonwealth if substantial injustice would otherwise result, and to be informed of this right promptly;

      4. to challenge the lawfulness of the detention in person before a court and, if the detention is unlawful, to be released;

      5. to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including at least exercise and the provision of adequate accommodation, nutrition, reading material and medical treatment; and

      6. to communicate with, and be visited by, that person’s ­spouse or partner, next of kin, chosen religious counsellor and chosen medical practitioner.

    3. Every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right ­

      1. to be informed of the charge with sufficient detail to answer it;
      2. to have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence;
      3. to a public trial before an ordinary court;
      4. to have their trial begin and conclude without unreasonable delay;
      5. to be present when being tried;
      6. to choose, and be represented by, a legal practitioner, and to be informed of this right promptly;
      7. to have a legal practitioner assigned to the accused person by the Commonwealth and at Commonwealth expense, if substantial injustice would otherwise result, and to be informed of this right promptly;
      8. to be presumed innocent, to remain silent, and not to testify during the proceedings;
      9. to adduce and challenge evidence;
      10. not to be compelled to give self-incriminating evidence;
      11. to be tried in a language that the accused person understands or, if that is not practicable, to have the proceedings interpreted in that language;
      12. not to be convicted for an act or omission that was not an offence under either national or international law at the time it was committed or omitted;
      13. of appeal to, or review by, a higher court.
    4. Whenever this section requires information to be given to a person, that information must be given in a language that the person understands.

    5. Evidence obtained in a manner that violates any right in this document or the Constitution must be excluded if the admission of that evidence would render the trial unfair or otherwise be detrimental to the administration of justice.

  30. Limitation of rights

    1. Universal civil rights may be limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including ­

      1. the nature of the right;
      2. the importance of the purpose of the limitation;
      3. the nature and extent of the limitation;
      4. the relation between the limitation and its purpose; and
      5. less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.
    2. Except as provided in subsection (30.1) or in any other provision of the Constitution, no law may limit any universal civil right.

  31. States of emergency

    1. A state of emergency may be declared only in terms of an Act of Commonwealth Federal Parliament, and only when ­

      1. the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency; or
      2. the principles of this document are at grave risk; and
      3. the declaration is necessary to restore peace and order.
    2. A declaration of a state of emergency, and any legislation enacted or other action taken in consequence of that declaration, may be effective only ­

      1. prospectively; and
      2. for no more than 21 days from the date of the declaration, unless the National Assembly resolves to extend the declaration. The Assembly may extend a declaration of a state of emergency for no more than three months at a time. The first extension must be adopted with a supporting vote of a majority of the members of the Assembly. Any subsequent extensions must be adopted with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of the members of the Assembly.
    3. Any competent court may decide on the validity of ­

      1. a declaration of a state of emergency;
      2. any extension of a declaration of a state of emergency; or
      3. any legislation enacted, or other action taken, in consequence of a declaration of a state of emergency.
    4. Any legislation enacted in consequence of a declaration of a state of emergency may derogate from universal civil rights only to the extent that ­

      1. the derogation is strictly required by the emergency; and

      2. the legislation ­

        1. is consistent with the Commonwealth’s obligations under international law applicable to states of emergency;
        2. conforms to subsection (31.5); and
        3. is published in the national Government Gazette as soon as reasonably possible after being enacted.
    5. Any derogation of rights as a consequence of a state of emergency must remain consistent and lawful with subsection (30.1).

    6. No legislation authorised in the declaration or as a consequence of a state of emergency may permit or authorise ­

      1. indemnifying the Commonwealth, or any person, in respect of any unlawful act;
      2. any derogation from this section; or
      3. any derogation from a section mentioned in column 1 of the Table of Non-Derogable Rights, to the extent indicated opposite that section in column 3 of the Table.
    Section Number Section Title Extent to which the right is protected
    3 Right to equal treatment With respect to unfair discrimination solely on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion or language
    4 Right to Human dignity Entirely
    5 Right to Life With respect to persons not convicted of a crime against humanity or treason.
    6 Freedom and Security of the person With respect to subsections (6.1.3) and (6.2.3).
    8 Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour With respect to slavery and servitude.
    26 Rights of children With respect to: subsections (26.1.4), (26.1.5) and (26.1.7); and subsection (26.1.9) in respect of children of 15 years and younger.
    29 Rights of detained and accused persons With respect to: 1. subsections (29.1.1), (29.1.2), (29.1.3) and (29.2.4); excluding (29.3.4); subsection (29.4); and (29.5) with respect to the exclusion of evidence if the admission of that evidence would render the trial unfair.
  32. Enforcement of rights

    1. Anyone listed in this section has the right to approach a competent court, alleging that a right outlined in this document has been infringed or threatened, and the court may grant appropriate relief, including a declaration of rights. The persons who may approach a court are

      1. anyone acting in their own interest;

      2. anyone acting on behalf of another person who cannot act in their own name;

      3. anyone acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of persons;

      4. anyone acting in the public interest; and

      5. an association acting in the interest of its members.

  33. Interpretation of civil rights

    1. When interpreting universal civil rights, a court, tribunal or forum

      1. must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;
      2. must consider international law; and
      3. may consider foreign law.
    2. When interpreting any legislation, and when developing the common law or customary law, every court, tribunal or forum must promote the spirit, purport and objects of universal civil rights.

    3. This document does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the rights guaranteed here.