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Difference between Fundamental Rights and Human Rights – 4 Major Areas of Differences | Business Law

Difference between fundamental rights and human rights

The concept of fundamental rights is closely related to the concept of human rights and covers the basic rights and protections accorded to individuals. Although both concepts share common principles, there are significant differences between them.

Fundamental Rights:

Fundamental Rights refers to the rights recognized and protected by the constitution or legal framework of a country. These rights may also be referred to as constitutional rights or citizens’ rights.

A particular jurisdiction’s fundamental rights are generally enforceable within the jurisdiction’s borders. Fundamental rights provide individuals with certain essential liberties and protections that the state must respect and protect.

Characteristics of fundamental rights

The following are the characteristics of fundamental rights:

Characteristics of fundamental rights

Constitutionally Recognized:

Fundamental rights are stipulated in a nation’s constitution or a statement of rights. They are explicitly outlined and guaranteed by the nations highest legal authority.


It is important to note that fundamental rights differ from one jurisdiction to another. Each country determines and enforces its own set of fundamental rights, tailored to its particular legal, historical, and cultural situations.

Legal Protection:

A citizen’s fundamental rights are legal enforceable in the jurisdiction where they are recognized. When their fundamental rights are violated, they can take legal action or seek redress through the judicial system.

Limitations and Balancing:

Basic rights are protected, but they are not absolute. A court balances individual rights against collective interests, weighing individual rights against public order, national security, or other rights.

In order to protect national security, public order, or other rights, they can be subject to reasonable restrictions and limitations.


Certain fundamental rights are restricted to citizens or individuals with a particular legal status within a country. They may grant them exclusive privileges and protections, separating them from non-citizens or foreign nationals.

Examples of Fundamental Rights:

It is important to note that fundamental rights can vary between jurisdictions. Some common examples are:

Right to Life:

A right to life ensures that no one may be arbitrarily deprived of life, and includes protections against capital punishment, extrajudicial killing, or torture.

Freedom of Expression:

This right guarantees freedom of expression of opinions, ideas, and beliefs without censorship.

Right to Equality:

A person’s right to equality guarantees that they are treated equally under the law without discrimination due to their race, religion, gender, or other protected characteristics.

Freedom of Religion:

The freedom of religion protects individuals’ rights to practice and express their religion in a coercive and discriminatory environment.

Right to Privacy:

A person’s right to privacy protects their personal information, communications, and private lives from unauthorized intrusions from the government or others.

Human Rights:

The human right, on the other hand, is a universal right that is inherent in everyone, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, or status as a citizen.

Internationally recognized and protected human rights are based on the fundamental dignity and worth of every human being.

In addition to protecting individuals’ inherent rights, human rights provide a global framework that is not confined to a particular jurisdiction.

Characteristics of human rights

The following are characteristics of human rights:

Characteristics of human rights


In the concept of universality, human rights are universal since they apply to everyone, regardless of their citizenship or legal status.

International Recognition:

A number of international human rights instruments have been ratified by member states, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and international treaties.

Legal Framework:

The human rights system is governed by international law, which establishes the rules and laws to protect and promote human rights on a global scale. Treaties and conventions outline the obligations of states to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights.


Human rights apply to all people, without distinctions or discriminations based on their race, religion, gender, nationality, or other protected characteristics.

Interconnectedness and Indivisibility:

The interconnectedness and indissolubility of human rights is a key component of their interdependence and interdependence with all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.

Examples of Human Rights:

The concept of human rights is comprehensive and covers a wide range of areas. Here are some examples of recognized human rights:

Right to Life, Liberty, and Security:

The right to life, liberty, and security ensures protection from torture, unlawful detention, and arbitrary deprivation of life.

Thought, Conscience, and Religion:

This right ensures the freedom of individuals to hold and manifest their beliefs, thoughts, and religious convictions.

Right to Education:

A right to education means having access to quality education without discrimination and being able to acquire knowledge and develop as a person.

Right to Health:

Health is a right that includes access to health services, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to healthcare.

Right to Work and Fair Labor Practices:

A fair work environment, just pay, and freedom from unfair labor practices are a few of the rights protected by this right.

Relationship between Fundamental Rights and Human Rights:

Human rights and fundamental rights share common principles and objectives. They both aim to protect people’s dignity, promote equality, and ensure justice.

The protection of fundamental rights is based on jurisdiction-specific rules and differs from country to country, but international human rights standards often shape them.

A fundamental right’s development and protection within a domestic legal system is guided by international human rights norms and treaties. When formulating their own constitutions and laws, countries may draw inspiration from international human rights standards.

In addition, regional human rights instruments and bodies, such as the European Convention on Human Rights or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, promote and protect fundamental rights.

Human rights and fundamental rights share a number of principles and values. Human rights are universal and recognized internationally, while fundamental rights are specific to a particular jurisdiction and protected legally within that jurisdiction.

International human rights standards often influence and reflect fundamental rights. Their combined effect safeguards the dignity, equality, and well-being of individuals in societies around the world.

Differences between Fundamental Rights and Human Rights

Some of the differences between fundamental rights and human rights are as follows:

Differences between fundamental rights and human rights

Legal Framework:

Fundamental Rights: The concept of fundamental rights refers to rights that are recognized and protected by specific legal frameworks, such as the constitution or bill of rights of a country.

Depending on the country’s historical, cultural, and legal context, fundamental rights may vary in scope and content based on its legal system.

Human Rights: The international community recognizes and protects human rights, on the other hand. International human rights instruments include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) because they are based on universal principles of human dignity. A common framework for protecting human rights worldwide is provided by these instruments.

Scope of Application:

Fundamental Rights: Typically, fundamental rights are reserved for citizens or residents of a particular country. They are usually granted on the basis of citizenship or legal status.

As each country determines and defines its own set of fundamental rights, the specific rights recognized as fundamental may vary between jurisdictions.

Human Rights: Human rights, on the other hand, apply universally to all individuals because of their humanity, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, or legal status.

They are considered inherent to every individual. All individuals around the world share the same rights, regardless of nationality or nationality.

Enforceability and Remedies:

Fundamental Rights: A country’s legal system enforces fundamental rights. If a citizen or resident is violated by a particular country’s legal system, they can seek legal remedies or appeal to the court system.

In some jurisdictions, there are legal mechanisms in place to address violations of fundamental rights, such as constitutional courts or human rights commissions.

Human Rights: The United Nations Human Rights Council and regional human rights courts are the primary mechanisms and institutions that enforce human rights.

For redress, individuals may approach international bodies, such as the UN Human Rights Council or regional human rights courts. A global human rights mechanism provides a platform for monitoring and addressing human rights violations.

Level of Protection:

Fundamental Rights: Different countries may protect fundamental rights differently. The strength and effectiveness of fundamental rights protections can vary depending on the legal and political context of each country, although domestic laws and constitutional provisions are generally in place to protect them.

Within a jurisdiction, constitutional amendments or changes in government can affect the scope and strength of fundamental rights.

International Human Rights: Human rights are universally recognized and protected. They are enshrined in international legal instruments and are based on universal principles of human dignity.

The international human rights treaties establish states’ obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. In order to strengthen the protection of human rights, international human rights mechanisms, such as reporting obligations, investigations, and legal proceedings, are used to scrutinize and hold states accountable.

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