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Significance Of Legal Right And Its Theories

Legal Right:

Across the world, every citizen possesses certain rights and duties which play a vital role in their life. The citizens mutually respect some of their rights and duties. The rights of a person are to be respected by others. The Legislature provides Such rights, either Grund Norm or any subordinate legislation derived from the country's supreme legislation. The law prevents the violation of rights and duties by imposing sanctions. The concept of rights has great power, and those rights are recognized and enforceable by law.

Right is something a person has that others should think should not be taken away. Simply, what a person is allowed to do or have. The Latin word for Right is rectus, which means correct. Those rights are essential for social life, which leads to society's development.

Definition of Legal Right:

Legal Right can be defined as "the interest in a claim which is recognized and protected by sanctions of law imposed by a state, which enables one person to possess property or to engage in some transaction or a course of conduct or to compel some other person to so engage or to refrain from some course of conduct under certain circumstances, and for the infringement of which claim the state provides a remedy in the court of Law."

Legal Right means any claim that has an interest the citizens have, and it is recognized and protected by law. When their interest is infringed, then the court will provide a remedy to the person.

According to Gray, Legal Right is a power that people have to make a person or persons do or refrain from doing certain acts or certain acts; so far, the power arises from society imposing a legal duty upon a person or persons.

Hibbert defined Legal Right as a person's capacity to oblige others to do or forbid by means of not of his strength but by the strength of a third party. It means if a person's right has been infringed by another party, then the third party will come into existence to resolve the dispute. The third party can be God, which has Divine Rights; the public, which has Moral Rights that allow some actions to be done and some are not; and a Legislature, which gives Legal Rights.

Salmond defined Legal Right as an interest that is recognized and protected by the rule of right (law). If a person purchases a cell phone, it has a one-year warranty. It was mentioned in the terms and conditions. It was recognized by law and protected by law, so the other party has to bear the expenses if any problem arises with the Cell Phone within the warranty period. The person has an interest in the property, and it was recognized and protected by law.

Holland defined Legal Right as the capacity of a man to control, with the assent and assistance of the state, the actions of another. If a person 'A' brought land and it was registered under the Registration Act, 1908, another person 'B' encroaches the land. Here, A takes the assent and assistance from the state to regulate the conduct done by 'B.'

Austin defined Legal Right as a party having a right when another or other is bound or obliged by the law to do or forbear towards or in respect of him. A person has a right (which is protected by law), which means others have a duty to respect that person's right.

Elements of Legal Right:

  1. Person of Inherence: This is the 1st element of Legal Rights. A person must have a right, and he is the owner of the right. Here, the owner of the right is described as the Person of Inherence.
  2. Person of Incidence: This is the 2nd element of Legal Rights. A person who has a legal duty or is obliged to have the legal duty towards the other person. Here, the person with the legal duty towards the other can be described as a Person of Incidence.
  3. Content of Right: This is the 3rd element of Legal Rights. A right, which is its content, a person has, and it is protected by any legislation, and the person of incidence is bound/obliged to do.
  4. Object of Right: This is the 4th element of Legal Right. The object in which the right is exercised. The object which is involved in a dispute is like any property. It is also known as the subject matter of the right.
  5. Title of Right: This is the 5th element of Legal Rights. In order to exercise the right, the person who holds the property must be the owner of the property. In this, the property's owner will be the Property's Title.
For Example:
Shreya brought Land, which is sold by Varun at City Outskirts. In this case, Shreya, who brought the Land, is the Person of Inherence, and Varun, who sold the Land to Shreya, will be the Person of Incidence. The right Shreya has right over the property will be the Content of Right. The property involved in this is land, and it will be the object of right. The title of the property belongs to Shreya, who is the owner of the property i.e. Land.

Theories of Legal Right

Theories relating to Legal Rights are classified into two segments:
  1. Will Theory of Right:
    The Will Theory is repeatedly supported by Austin, Holland, Vinogradoff, and others. Will Theory says that a right is derived from human will, which means it functions by law to grant certain power to individuals in the form of legal rights. With the help of the doctrine of natural rights, the will theory came into existence. The Will Theory is also known as the Choice theory because the right holder has the choice and control over his conduct or subject matter, including his personal liberty, etc� on his will.

    This theory puts stress on the rights and values of an individual. This will theory is private laws, like the law of contract, property laws, torts, etc� because another will infringe the legal rights of an individual (right's holder).

    It protects the individual's power, which was provided to him. It gives control over the other's duties as well. If an individual has a right, he also has control over his right, but it is not only limited to him. He has control over the other individual who acts upon his rights. In the will theory, the human is protected by law.
  2. Interest Theory of Right:
    The interest theory of right was developed by Ihering and Salmond. The Interest theory is also known as the Benefit Theory. They stated that "A legal right is a legally protected Interest", which means any right which protects the interest of an individual with the help of law. He says that the right will be based on the interest, not the will.

    Salmond defines a legal right as 'an interest recognized and protected by law,' which means if an individual person brought a property, then an interest will be created upon the property. The interest will be protected by law.

    In a simple term, the interest theory of rights is about seeing rights as ways to safeguard and promote our interests, and these ideas have shaped how we understand rights in the field of law.

    According to Allen, legal right means, 'a theory of legal right must consider both the elements of will and interest.' In simple words, a legal right protects both the will and interest. An interest is an expression of the will of an individual or a group of individuals.

In simple terms, a legal right is something a person is allowed to do or have, and others should not take it away. The definition of a legal right involves the interest in a claim recognized and protected by the law, allowing individuals to possess property, engage in transactions, or compel others to act or refrain from certain conduct. Various legal scholars, including Gray, Hibbert, Salmond, and Austin, provide different perspectives on legal rights, emphasizing their capacity to control actions through legal duties.

The Will Theory, supported by legal scholars like Austin and Holland, emphasizes that legal rights are derived from human will and grant individuals power over their conduct. On the other hand, the Interest Theory, proposed by Ihering and Salmond, states that legal rights are based on the protection of interests and are legally protected benefits. Both theories acknowledge the importance of considering both will and interest in understanding legal rights.

Legal rights are essential for social life and development, providing a framework for individuals to co-exist in a just and orderly society. The interplay between will and interest shapes the understanding and enforcement of legal rights in law.

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