Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1789

Declaration of the rights of man and citizen

The representatives of the French People, who constitute the National Assembly, taking into account that ignorance, oblivion or contempt of human rights are the only causes of public disasters and damage to governments, they decided to present natural, inalienable and sacred human rights in a solemn announcement, so that this announcement being constantly before your eyes all members of the public union, constantly reminded them of their rights and obligations; so that acts of legislative and executive power, whenever possible, at every moment to compare them with the aim of any political institution, are all the more respected; so that the demands of citizens, based on now on simple and indisputable principles, always turned to the maintenance of the Constitution and to the general well-being. - Because of this, the National Assembly recognizes and declares, in the face and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following human and citizen rights.

Art. one. People are born and are free and equal in rights. Social differences can only be based on common benefits.

2. The goal of any political union is the protection of natural and inalienable human rights. These rights are freedom, property, security, and resistance to oppression.

3. The beginning of all sovereignty is essentially [28] among the people. No person, no aggregate of persons, can exercise power that would not result, in a positive way, from the people.

4. Freedom is the ability to do everything that does not harm the other: in this way, the exercise of the natural rights of every person is limited only to those limits that ensure other members of society enjoy the same rights. These limits can only be set by law.

5. The law has the right to prohibit only actions harmful to society. What is not prohibited by the Law cannot be hindered, and no one can be forced to do what the Law does not prescribe.

6. The law is an expression of the common will. All citizens have the right to participate, personally or through their representatives, in its drafting. He should be the same for everyone, whether he is patronizing or punishing. All citizens are equal in his eyes and therefore have equal access to any public rank, place and position, in accordance with their abilities and without any other difference, except by virtue and talent.

7. No one person may be charged, detained or imprisoned, except in cases specified by the Law and in accordance with the forms prescribed by him. Whoever requests, manufactures, executes, or compels to execute arbitrary orders is punishable; but every citizen called or detained by virtue of the Law must immediately obey: he resists, commits a crime.

8. The law should establish only strictly and obviously necessary punishments. No one may be punished otherwise than by virtue of a law promulgated and promulgated prior to the commission of the offense and lawfully applied.

9. Every person is supposed to be innocent until he is declared guilty. Therefore, if it is deemed necessary to detain him, any measure of severity that is not inevitable in order to prevent him from escaping must be strictly punished by the Law.

10. No one should be worried about their opinions, even religious ones, unless their discovery violates the public order established by the Law.

11. Free transfer to others of thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious human rights; therefore, every citizen can freely speak, write, print, on pain of responsibility for the abuse of this freedom in cases specified by the Law.

12. The guarantee of the rights of man and of a citizen necessitates organized state power; this power is thus established in the interests of all, and not for the private benefit of those to whom it is entrusted.

13. For the maintenance of state power and for the expenses of management, public fees are necessary; they should be evenly distributed to all citizens according to their means.

14. All citizens have the right to verify, themselves or through their representatives, the need for public fees, freely give consent to them, monitor their use and determine their size, basis, collection procedure and period of existence.

15. The company has the right to demand a report from any government agent in its management.

16. Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not secured and the separation of powers is not defined has no constitution.

17. Ownership, as an inviolable and sacred right, cannot be taken away from anyone, except in the case that this is obviously required by a legally certified public need, and under the condition of fair and prior remuneration.

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