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What Does The Right To Equality Before The Law Mean?

Right To Equality Before The Law

The legal system of the United States of America does not only represent the rule of the majority but also stands in strong support of the rule of law.  One’s right to equality before the law is very closely related to the rule of law.

The right to equality before the law states that everyone has the right to be equal in the eyes of the law. Rule of law on the other hand means that law prevails above all, notwithstanding the designation or hierarchy of the person.

Equality before the law and equal protection of the law are considered so important that even when the rights of a minority group are infringed, the Court hears both sides of the case before delivering judgment.

To properly understand the right to equality before the law, we must understand how this most important piece of fundamental right came into existence in the first place.

Right To Equality Before The Law: Inception

The right to equality before the law also consists of one’s right to the equal protection of the law.

Equal protection of law ensures that everyone is entitled to damages or relief of some kind declared by the court. 

The principle means that all of us are entitled to be subjects of the law, and all of us deserve the appropriate punishments when we fail to abide.

What Does Rule Of Law Imply?

Rule of law is the fundamental principle of the Right to equality before the law. It states that all human beings, legal persons, institutions, and corporations are accountable to the law and are bound by it equally. 

These laws should however be:

  • Publicly implied.
  • Equally and uniformly imposed.
  • Independently adjudicated upon, notwithstanding the power of the parties in breach.
  • The laws in force shall not be in breach of human rights principles.

How Is The Rule Of Law Applicable To The Right To Equality Before The Law?

Equality before the law is also known as legal egalitarianism or legal equality. The right to equality before the law is mostly ensured through the application of rule of law. It stipulates that all bodies are to observe the due process of law. 

If not, the judiciary or the government is to see to it that no specific party or individual is treated preferentially or any different than the others.

Right To Equality And Equality Before The Law

The right to equality before the law stems from one’s right to equality. Right to equality ensures that fairness and equality in terms of justice are provided to all. Liberalism also has its beliefs and principles stemming from the principles of Equality.

Most Democratic nations believe that every individual should have an equal chance to take part in the government-forming process. Referendums are a literal representation of the right to equality before the Law. Each person is entitled to their vote and enough votes can get a law or a motion passed, the absence of which leads to the disposal of such legislation. 

Right To Equality Before The Law: Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Article 7 of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights deals with our Right to Equality before Law.

It states that all citizens(of the UN member states) are equal. All should be subject to the same rights and duties. 

Article 7 states that all humans are entitled to be protected, in terms of their fundamental rights, equally. No person is to be discriminated against.

Why Is Article 7 So Unique?

The article is unique in the sense that it not only protects the rights mentioned in the declaration but also prohibits discrimination as a whole. Any discrimination or incitement to such is also considered illegal according to the provisions of this article.

All individuals, local and federal governments, and corporate bodies are bound by the provisions and terms of this article. Any breach of the terms will lead to a case of infringement of human rights. Such claims are handled very seriously by governments and the organizations appointed by the United Nations Organizations

Even incitements to discrimination and discriminatory patterns are often taken note of. However, the scenario in 2022 has been quite different in the United States. Republican and right-leaning organizations have filed multiple lawsuits protesting against corporate practices of the reservation where the companies have made efforts to hire a certain percentage of employees from the indigenous or colored population.

Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also speaks out against discrimination. Any discriminatory behavior displayed on grounds of color, creed, religion, or cultural or ethnic background has been prohibited under Article 2. Article 7 is considered to be an amalgamation of both articles, taking a complete and all-encompassing approach toward discrimination. 

The concept of equal accountability has often been debated in its existencewhen the elite or the powerholders of the society are being referred to.

The first ten Amendments to the American Constitution also make provisions for the Bill Of Rights. Bill of Rights also guarantees freedom from discrimination by the rigyht to eqauality before law and the equal protection of law. 

And That’s A Wrap!

The right to equality under the law and equal protection of the law is the primary and fundamental points to be noted in a democratic system of government. It is one of the basic rights enjoyed by all of us by the virtue of being humans and being political beings. 

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