30 Jul 2000 rbrady   » (Journeyer)

Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is far from unique. The Constitutions of most countries guarantee certain rights. All member states of the European Union are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits the abridgement of lots of basic rights which weren't guaranteed by the Bill of Rights These rights include

  • The right not to be a slave (1865 in US)
  • The right not to be killed (still absent)
  • The right not to be tortured (as part of investigation, not prohibited by US constitution, the 8th amendment only applies to punishments)
  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise (still absent, I think)
  • The right not to be discriminated against on grounds of sex, race, colour, language, national origin, association with a national minority (1920, at least.)
  • The right to free and fair elections (1964)
  • The right to education (still absent)

So, whilst the United States's constitution is actually pretty good today, it would be false to credit this to the Bill of Rights, which didn't really contain anything that was very radical (most of the points being enshrined in English law at the time).

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