How the public services balance the rights of the individual

Essay by gorgeousgiovanna April 2008

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In this task I will look at the rights of the individual and how the public services balance these rights in order to keep society safe, and the individual still content and with full human rights.

The rights of the individual are the same as people's human rights; these include things such as freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, the right to life and quite a few more. These human rights should always be aloud in society; no one should be treated unfairly or discriminated against, however, these rights can only be upheld to some extent, there must be a line drawn somewhere to stop people over-using their rights.

An example of someone overusing their human rights was Abu Hamza (the hook man) who preached about the destruction of Jews and their murder in a mosque in Finsbury Park, London. This was deemed as taking his rights too far, "You are entitled to your views and in this country you are entitled to express them, but only up to the point where you incite murder or use language calculated to incite racial hatred."

(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4690224.stm). This is a good example of someone who has taken their rights too far; he was sentenced to seven years in Belmarsh prison for various charges.

Another example of this is swearing on TV, although people can speak freely, the authorities say that there must be very little swearing, violence and nudity on TV before the 21:00 watershed, after this time the programs can get gradually more explicit. This is better for the good of society as it stops young people seeing or hearing things they shouldn't and will also stop people being offended.

Everyone has the right to marriage and to have a family, however, when in prison for a long time this can be difficult, yet it must be accepted as a human right and therefore prisoners must be aloud to get married. "A marriage can take place in a prison as long as the prison authorities agree that the marriage can be performed there. This agreement must be in the form of a statement signed by the prison governor not more than twenty one days before you give your notices of marriage."(http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/community--people-and-living/births--deaths--marriages-and-citizenship/weddings-and-renewal-of-vows/where-can-we-get-married-/in-prison/) This means the prison authorities must agree and allow a wedding, the only reason they wouldn't agree would be if the prisoner was very dangerous, or they thought it was a trick, or the prison has broken too many rules.

Another human right is 'enjoyment of possessions', this means enjoying and using things that are theirs without being harassed by other people, however, some possessions that people may have are illegal, or not legal in certain circumstances. For example, firearms (rifles, pistols, shotguns) are controlled under the 'firearms act 1997', this stops certain people buying them, selling them, using them, carrying them around and in some cases possessing them in general. Knives are controlled by law that says no-one under 16 can buy them, and some knives are totally illegal for everyone. Fireworks are controlled by laws that state they can't be bought or carried by anyone under 18, or used in streets. (http://www.berr.gov.uk/fireworks/index.htm). All these laws protect the public and individual against accidental (or sometimes purposeful) injuries from misuse of these possessions.