Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term civil liberties refers to the relationship between individual citizens and the government of the country in which they are living. The concept defines those areas of behavior in relation to which the state has no right to interfere with a citizen's freedom or can only do so on the basis of very strong justification. It has a close relationship to the concept of human rights , with which it may overlap in some circumstances. Civil liberties narrowly defined, however, relate to the situation within a domestic jurisdiction; they do not have the international element that is a characteristic of human rights. Civil liberties are also generally best expressed as freedoms rather than rights —as in freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom from arbitrary arrest, or freedom from discrimination. Scholars do not generally agree on a comprehensive list of the freedoms that constitute civil liberties. They usually include ...