bill of rights

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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

The English Bill Of Rights Essay Example

This bill of rights was an act passed on the 16th of December 1689 by the parliament of England. The English Bill of Rights is a bill that:
  • Encourages free speech
  • Creates separation of powers
  • Reduces the powers of the king and queen
  • Enhances democracy and democratic elections
After a splendid revolution in England, even before being sworn in as king and queen of England, William III and Mary II had already decided to recognize the Bill of Rights. It goes together with the Petition of Right, the Magna Carter, and the Acts of Parliament of 1911 and 1949 as part of the basic documents of the uncodified British constitution. This bill of rights is applicable in both England and Wales. It was enacted in the Kingdom of England (which included Wales at that time). Scotland, on the other hand, had its legislation (the Claim of Right Act 1689) that was passed prior to the Act of Union between Scotland and England.

The Various Provisions of This Bill of Rights

The English Bill of Rights states that the king or queen’s crown should not be a hindrance to the law in whichever way. The king and queen can’t create any courts of law on their own and can never play the role of a judge. This bill states that parliament can sign a petition for the crown to do a certain thing without worrying about any retaliation from the crown. This bill of rights states that the crown can’t be utilized to come up with new taxes without the approval of parliament. To introduce any new tax, an act must be passed by the sitting parliament. This bill goes on to state that people have the right to own arms as long as it is within the confines of the law. This was and is a crucial provision because at the time this bill was created, Catholics were the only ones who were allowed to bear arms. This is also the provision that abolished the same law and permitted both Catholics and Protestants to own weapons. Another provision states that no army can be kept during peace without the approval of parliament. The English Bill of Rights also states that the crown may not interfere with an election. Moreover, this bill assures the freedom of speech. It guarantees freedom during parliamentary proceedings, and these proceedings may not be retaliated against parliament. Furthermore, this bill of rights states that there should be no cruel punishments or excessive bail imposed on any person found guilty of an offense. In addition, the bill states that it is illegal to promise fines and forfeitures before any conviction.
These were the major provisions of this bill of rights. They favored both the English people and also the royalty. Also, there were other minor provisions of the bill that included barring Roman Catholics from the throne. The king and queen were afterward required to sign an oath before taking over the throne. This oath was for maintaining the Protestant religion.

The English Bill of Rights and Its Use in Modern Times

  • This bill assists in ensuring that those in power don’t misuse it. In addition, it helps the regular citizens to exercise their democratic rights and enjoy free speech.
  • This bill today can be compared to the American Constitution, including the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendments.
  • This bill of rights is regularly utilized in legal proceedings in the Commonwealth. It is constantly modified to suit the circumstances of the day.
There were two exceptional designs of commemorative 2-pound coins that were issued in 1989 in the UK to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution. One coin referred to the Claim of Right while the other referred to the Bill of Rights. Both coins portray the mace of the House of Commons and William and Mary’s Royal Cypher. One coin also displays a representation of the Crown of Scotland while the other shows St Edward’s Crown. The English Bill of Rights was inscribed in UNESCO’s UK Memory of the World Register in 2011, recognizing that all the major principles of this bill are still applicable today, and it continues to be cited in various legal cases in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries in general. This bill of rights has global significance, as it was a model for the 1789 US Bill of Rights. Its influence can be seen in documents that establish human rights, for instance, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Other than the English Bill of Rights, there is the bill of rights of animals.

Bill of Rights for Animals

One question that people normally ask is, do animals require a bill of rights? On a daily basis, animals are mistreated and abused worldwide by those that don't care for them. More attention should be given to animal treatment because even though we make laws for animals and their welfare in general, most people still won't follow them. The laws that have already been created for animals should be enforced. Animals require protection, especially from any intentional harm towards them. Most people, however, feel that establishing a bill of rights for animals seems extreme. As commonly known, most animals are used for scientific experiments. Some of these experiments end up cruelly harming these animals. If it is necessary to experiment using animals, then the experiment should be done in a manner that doesn't hurt the animals. Another reason for advocating for animal protection is that some people mistreat or harm animals in the name of entertainment. One form of entertainment for humans is the hunting of wild animals for sport. Animals like tigers, cheetahs, lions, and bears have been hunted and killed either for meat or for sport. Fishing is another form of entertainment for those who catch fish to eat and do not realize the pain they cause the fish. Just because the fish don't yell as a result of pain doesn't imply that they don't feel it. Humans need to view animals as living things as well, and they have feelings. More attention should be paid to how we treat them.