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Discuss the view that a Bill of rights alone is insufficient to protect rights and liberties.

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Discuss the view that a 'Bill of rights' alone is insufficient to protect rights and liberties. A Bill of Rights effectively outlines the rights and liberties of the people. In the USA the first ten amendments to the constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. Of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 10th are perhaps the most important today. For example, the 1st Amendments guarantee basic rights such as, freedom of religion; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; and freedom of assembly. These are just a few of the many rights and liberties stated in the Bill of Rights, so why are people to argue that a Bill of Rights alone is insufficient to protect rights and liberties? Although the American Constitution and particularly the first ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights promise the citizens of the United States certain rights and protections, the civil rights record of the country highlights the fragile nature of such abstract promises. The constitution does not define the meaning of such phrases as 'liberty' or 'equal rights,' and therefore it is the responsibility of the courts, the un-elected branch of government, to make meaning through rulings they make on cases of constitutional importance. ...read more.


If you take the abortion cases of Planned Parenthood vs Casey and Gonzales vs Carhart, this shows the court chipping away at abortion rights. Being so, this leads to 'judicial tyranny,' as judges are able to make laws and to interpret them. Judges are unelected and also socially unrepresentative, so this expanded role for the judiciary highlights an undemocratic nature, which therefore suggests a Bill of Rights alone is insufficient to protect rights and liberties. It is evident that the USA Bill of Rights has failed to protect the rights and liberties of a significant minority of its citizens, as throughout history politicians and more importantly judges have firstly failed to grant certain groups civil rights and liberties in their most basic form. The arguments suggesting a Bill of Rights alone is insufficient in protecting rights and liberties do appear convincing; however many would put forward arguments in favour of a Bill of Rights being sufficient to protect rights and liberties. As mentioned before, the Bill of Rights although codified is in fact vague. Take the 1st and 11th amendment for example; this can be applied to many situations that alone protect the rights and liberties. ...read more.


suspected to being a terrorist to either have a trial or to have the same maximum amount of time in prison without one as every other suspected criminal. Furthermore a Bill of Rights may never have allowed political parties such as the BNP to discriminate against who joins the party. Being so, this may well suggest a reason why a Bill of Rights alone can be sufficient in protecting rights and liberties. In conclusion, history has proven that in the USA a Bill of Rights has failed to protect the rights and liberties of the people in many situations. Although Supreme Court cases such as 'Texas v. Johnson' explain otherwise, overall the evidence presented suggests a Bill of Rights to be insufficient. Society and life in general is always changing; therefore a Bill of Rights would restrain development in certain areas. With such strong evidence against a Bill of Rights alone, it is appropriate to look to other methods of protecting rights and liberties, such as the UK 'Humans Rights Act' and also the 'EU Court of Human Rights,' that can sit alongside a Bill of Rights to ensure that the rights and liberties of the people are protected. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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