Due Process

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

Due process has also been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings (see substantive due process), so that judges - instead of legislators - may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. This interpretation has proven controversial, and is analogous to the concepts of natural justice, and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions. This interpretation of due process is sometimes expressed as a command that the government must not be unfair to the people or abuse them physically.

Due process is not used in contemporary English law, though two similar concepts are natural justice (which generally applies only to decisions of administrative agencies and some types of private bodies like trade unions) and the British constitutional concept of the rule of law as articulated by A. V. Dicey and others. However, neither concept lines up perfectly with the American theory of due process, which, as explained below, presently contains many implied rights not found in the ancient or modern concepts of due process in England.

Due process developed from clause 39 of the Magna Carta in England. When English and American law gradually diverged, due process was not upheld in England, but did become incorporated in the Constitution of the United States.

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Famous quotes containing the words process and/or due:

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