Search this article on Google: As per the constitution, everyone is entitled to their rights and freedom without any discrimination.
Title: Constitutional Entitlement to Rights and Freedom: A Non-Discriminatory Approach
One of the fundamental principles of constitutional law is the concept that everyone is entitled to enjoy their rights and freedoms without any form of discrimination. This principle is enshrined in the constitutions of many countries across the globe. In essence, it implies that irrespective of one’s race, sex, religion, nationality, or any other characteristic, they should be treated equally under the law and be granted equal protection of the same. This article examines the tenet of non-discrimination in constitutional law and mentions a few relevant case laws for reference.
Non-Discrimination in Constitutional Law
The right to non-discrimination is a basic element of human rights law, often appearing in numerous international and regional agreements such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, among others. Similarly, it is entrenched in various national constitutions. This ensures that all individuals have equal access to their rights and freedoms irrespective of their social statuses or personal characteristics.
The Non-Discrimination Principle in USA
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from discrimination: “No State shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Examples of such laws include Brown vs. Board of Education (1954), where racial segregation in public schools was held unconstitutional, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which guaranteed the right for same-sex couples to marry.
Non-Discrimination in UK Constitution
While the UK lacks a codified constitution, the principle of non-discrimination is represented in various statutory instruments like the Equality Act 2010. This Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals based on protected characteristics. A landmark case demonstrating this principle is Ghaidan v. Godin-Mendoza (2004), where the House of Lords extended certain rights under the Rent Act to same-sex partners, thereby ensuring non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Principle of Non-Discrimination in India
Under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, all persons enjoy equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. The landmark case of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India (2018) exemplifies this principle, wherein the Supreme Court decriminalized consensual homosexual acts between adults, arguing that discrimination based on sexual orientation infringes on fundamental rights.
The constitutional guarantee of non-discrimination forms a significant part of legal systems worldwide, acting as a shield to ensure that everyone enjoys their rights and freedoms equally. This principle has been reinforced time and again through various landmark judgements, whether it’s Brown vs. Board of Education in the USA, Ghaidan v. Godin-Mendoza in the UK, or Navtej Singh Johar in India.
Although there is still significant progress to be made to combat systemic discrimination globally, these constitutional protections provide a crucial starting point. These provisions aim at creating a world where everyone can live openly, authentically, and without fear, irrespective of who they are or who they love. It is both a celebration of diversity and a resounding affirmation of everyone’s inherent dignity and worth.