Natural rights (Fr.:Drois neturels, De.:Naturrechte, Ro.:Drepturi Naturale, Sr.:Prirodna prava, Gr.: φυσικό δικαίωμα) [See also: margin of appreciation, fundamental rights, constitutional freedoms, human rights] = rights that an individual enjoys as a human being, and cannot be denied to him/her by any state. Those are human rights thought to exist from nature. While other rights can be limited by law in a state of emergency or a time of war, natural rights are absolutely guaranteed and cannot be limited under any circumstances. Examples include the right to life, prohibition of torture, prohibition of slavery and forced labour.

Human rights are imperative of every society, and are thus codified in an international level. A comprehensive catalogue of human rights and a cumbersome apparatus for their protection exists today, but this field of law is still developing because of the rapid progress of society.

Useful links

Legislation - 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights [English] - 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, Council of Europe [English] - 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - 1969 American Declaration Human Rights [English] - 1987 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, The Banjul Charter [English]

Organisations and associations - European Court of Human Rights [English] - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [English] - Human Rights Watch [English] - The Helsinki Committee [Serbian] - Belgrade Centre for Human Rights [Serbian] - Lawyers Committee for Human Rights [Serbian]

Case law{%22dmdocnumber%22:[%22695820%22],%22itemid%22:[%22001-57943%22]} - McCann and Others v UK [1995] ECHR 18984/91 [English]

Online publications - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights: A Basic Handbook for UN Staff [English] - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Defenders: Protecting the Rights to Defend Human Rights, UN Fact Sheet No. 29 [English] - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2012, Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation [English] - Korff D., The right to life: A guide to the implementation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Human rights handbooks, No. 8 [English]


LJ Arden, 2016, Water for all? Developing a human right to water in national and international law, I.C.L.Q., 65(4), 771-789 [English]

H. Arkes, 2002, Natural rights and the right to choose, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press [English]

H. Breakey, 2012, Intellectual liberty: natural rights and intellectual property, Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate [English]   

M. Düwell; J. Braarvig; R. Brownsword; D. Mieth, 2014, The Cambridge handbook of human dignity: interdisciplinary perspectives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [English]

J. Finnis, 2011, Natural law and natural rights, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. [English]

M. S. Moore, 2015, Liberty and the Constitution, L.T., 21(3/4), 156-241 [English]

D. G. Ritchie, 1924, Natural rights: a criticism of some political and ethical conceptions, London [English]

By Dajana Krajinovic