This essay will explain how legal personality can change and why. It will identify legal personality and the different legal persons. It will explore some factors that determine our legal status, and multiple legal personalities. It will explain how legal personality starts and ends, and it will describe issues with equality, and how the European Convention on Human Rights protects a person against discrimination. Finally it will outline the limitations of legal personality regarding children, the mentally ill and bankrupts.
Legal personality is defined by rights and duties. While rights are obligations owed to you, duties are obligations to other people. Human beings are legal entities in that they have rights and duties. It is a legal right to vote from the age of 18 and it is a duty to drive with care so as not to injure someone. The natural legal person can sue and be sued (in civil law) or prosecuted (in criminal law).
Organisations have legal responsibilities and are therefore different legal persons to an individual. 'Corporations aggregate', such as registered companies, consist of more than one legal person but are also recognised separately. The Queen is both a natural person and a 'corporation sole' in her role as monarch.
The law classifies people to decide whether they can or cannot do certain things. (Harris, P. 2002) Legal personality exists in everyday life. Marrying, working and driving are a few examples of behaviours that are controlled depending on a person's status. Their gender, employment, and age all affect what they can or cannot do. For example a person aged 16 cannot legally drive.
As social roles change throughout a person's life so does their legal personality. Rights and responsibilities are acquired, and a person may have multiple legal personalities in the form of being an employee,