Can we break down the Hierarchy of which Category of Rights is the most important, and can supersede the others? Yes, it is possible to do this, and the following is the result of such an analysis.
HUMAN RIGHTS- Must, by their very nature, rank as #1. They are the only Category of Rights that is binding on all Countries, States and Governments. This is the goal of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, to create and enforce Laws that bind the people of all nations to a Universal set of Moral Standards in the proper treatment of every member of the Human race.
Further, that these are Rights that cannot be relinquished, even on a voluntary basis. THE BOTTOM LINE- HUMAN RIGHTS CANNOT BE DENIED, LOST OR GIVEN UP, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
CIVIL RIGHTS- Are a sub-category of CITIZENS RIGHTS, but are placed on a level higher in importance. Citizens Rights may include such things as Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly etc., but may not be legally applied in every situation. This is where the Category of Civil Rights can be found. Consider the following :
Example #1- Freedom of Religion allows you to believe and promote a certain set of Moral Values. However, the application of such values in the Public Sector may not be considered Legal.
Example #2- Freedom of Speech permits you to advocate and relay information to other people. However, the Legal System may create limits on the How, When and Where such information is disseminated.
Example #3- Freedom of Assembly- Allows you to Come Together and/or Associate with other like minded individuals. A Legal problem may arise if these meetings are used for planning Criminal Activities, or for the purpose of creating situations that have a detrimental affect on other persons and groups.
These examples have one main goal: That Government has a Moral duty to its citizens and society at large, to create restrictions on Individual Rights, for the benefit of all.
End of PT 3.