Law and Justice
Law and Justice is a national-conservative, Christian democratic political party in Poland. With 237 seats in the Sejm and 66 in the Senate, it is the largest party in the Polish parliament; the party was founded in 2001 by the Kaczyński twins and Jarosław. It was formed from part of the Solidarity Electoral Action, with the Christian democratic Centre Agreement forming the new party's core; the party won the 2005 election. Jarosław served as Prime Minister, before calling elections in 2007, in which the party came in second to Civic Platform. Several leading members, including sitting president Lech Kaczyński, died in a plane crash in 2010; the party programme is dominated by the Kaczyńskis' conservative and order agenda. It has embraced economic interventionism, while maintaining a conservative stance that in 2005 moved towards the Catholic Church; the party is solidarist and mildly Eurosceptic, shares similar political tactics with Hungary's Fidesz but with anti-Russian stances. PiS is a member of the Alliance of Reformists in Europe European political party.
The current sixteen PiS MEPs sit, as well as three other people elected from the PiS register, in the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament. The party was created on a wave of popularity gained by late president of Poland Lech Kaczyński while heading the Polish Ministry of Justice in the AWS-led government, although local committees began appearing from 22 March 2001; the AWS itself was created from a diverse array of many small political parties. In the 2001 general election PiS gained 44 seats in the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament with 9.5% of votes. In 2002, Lech Kaczyński was elected mayor of Warsaw, he handed the party leadership to his twin brother in 2003. In the 2005 general election, PiS took first place with 27.0% of votes, which gave it 155 out of 460 seats in the Sejm and 49 out of 100 seats in the Senate. It was universally expected that the two largest parties, PiS and Civic Platform, would form a coalition government; the putative coalition parties had a falling out, related to a fierce contest for the Polish presidency.
In the end, Lech Kaczyński won the second round of the presidential election on 23 October 2005 with 54.0% of the vote, ahead of Donald Tusk, the PO candidate. After the 2005 elections, Jarosław should have become Prime Minister. However, in order to improve his brother's chances of winning the presidential election, PiS formed a minority government headed by Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz as prime minister, an arrangement that turned out to be unworkable. In July 2006 PiS formed a right-wing coalition government with the agrarian populist Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland and nationalist League of Polish Families, headed by Jarosław Kaczyński. Association with these parties, on the margins of Polish politics affected the reputation of PiS; when accusations of corruption and sexual harassment against Andrzej Lepper, the leader of Self Defense, surfaced, PiS chose to end the coalition and called for new elections. In the 2007 general election PiS managed to secure 32.1% of votes. Although an improvement over its showing from 2005, the results were a defeat for the party, as Civic Platform gathered 41.5%.
The party won 166 out of 39 seats in Poland's Senate. On 10 April 2010, its former leader crash. Jarosław Kaczyński becomes the sole leader of the party, he was the presidential candidate in the 2010 elections, lost again in the 2011 general election. The party won the 2015 parliamentary election, this time with an outright majority—something no Polish party had done since the fall of Communism. In the normal course of events, this should have made Jarosław Kaczyński prime minister for a second time. However, Beata Szydło, perceived as being somewhat more moderate than Kaczyński, had been tapped as PiS' candidate for prime minister; the Law and Justice government has been accused of posing a threat to the Polish liberal democratic system by majority of opposition groups. PiS' 2015 victory prompted creation of a cross-party opposition movement, the Committee for the Defence of Democracy. Law and Justice has supported controversial reforms carried out by the Hungarian Fidesz party, with Jarosław Kaczyński declaring in 2011 that "a day will come when we have a Budapest in Warsaw".
Proposed 2017 judicial reforms, which according to the party were meant to improve efficiency of the justice system, sparked protest as they were seen as undermining judicial independence. As of December 2017, the draft bill is being amended following a veto from President Andrzej Duda. In January 2010, a breakaway faction led by Jerzy Polaczek split from the party to form Poland Plus, its seven members of the Sejm came from the centrist, economically liberal wing of the party. On 24 September 2010, the group was disbanded, with most of its Sejm members, including Polaczek, returning to Law and Justice. On 16 November 2010, MPs Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, Elżbieta Jakubiak and Paweł Poncyljusz, MEPs Adam Bielan and Michał Kamiński formed a new political group, Poland Comes First. Kamiński said that the Justice party had been taken over by far-right extremists; the breakaway party formed following dissatisfaction with the leadership of Kaczyński. On 4 November 2011, MEPs Zbigniew Ziobro, Jacek Kurski, Tadeusz Cymański were e
George Roger Waters is an English songwriter, singer and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Waters served as the bassist, but following the departure of songwriter Syd Barrett in 1968, he became their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, conceptual leader. Pink Floyd achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. By the early 1980s, they had become one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful groups in popular music. Amid creative differences, Waters left in 1985 and began a legal dispute with the remaining members over the use of the band's name and material, they settled out of court in 1987. Waters' solo work includes the studio albums The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Radio K. A. O. S. Amused to Death, Is This the Life We Really Want?. In 2005, he released Ça Ira, an opera translated from Étienne and Nadine Roda-Gils' libretto about the French Revolution. In 1990, Waters staged one of the largest rock concerts in history, The Wall – Live in Berlin, with an attendance of 450,000.
As a member of Pink Floyd, he was inducted into the U. S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005; that year, he reunited with Pink Floyd bandmates Mason and David Gilmour for the Live 8 global awareness event, the group's first appearance with Waters since 1981. He has toured extensively as a solo act since 1999. Waters was born on 6 September 1943, the younger of two boys, to Mary and Eric Fletcher Waters, in Great Bookham, Surrey, his father, the son of a coal miner and Labour Party activist, was a schoolteacher, a devout Christian, a Communist Party member. In the early years of the Second World War, Waters' father was a conscientious objector who drove an ambulance during the Blitz. Waters' father changed his stance on pacifism, joined the Territorial Army and was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant on 11 September 1943, he was killed five months on 18 February 1944 at Aprilia, during the Battle of Anzio, when Roger was five months old.
He is commemorated at the Cassino War Cemetery. On 18 February 2014, Waters unveiled a monument to his father and other war casualties in Aprilia, was made an honorary citizen of Anzio. Following her husband's death, Mary Waters a teacher, moved with her two sons to Cambridge and raised them there. Waters' earliest memory is of the V-J Day celebrations. Waters attended Morley Memorial Junior School in Cambridge and the Cambridgeshire High School for Boys with Syd Barrett, while future Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour lived nearby on Mill Road and attended the Perse School. At 15, Waters was chairman of the Cambridge Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, having designed its publicity poster and participated in its organisation, he was a keen sportsman and a regarded member of the high school's cricket and rugby teams. Waters was unhappy at school; the regime at school was a oppressive one... the same kids who are susceptible to bullying by other kids are susceptible to bullying by the teachers."Whereas Waters knew Barrett and Gilmour from his childhood in Cambridge, he met future Pink Floyd founder members Nick Mason and Richard Wright in London at the Regent Street Polytechnic school of architecture.
Waters enrolled there in 1962, after a series of aptitude tests indicated he was well-suited to that field. He had considered a career in mechanical engineering. By September 1963, Waters and Mason had lost interest in their studies and moved into the lower flat of Stanhope Gardens, owned by Mike Leonard, a part-time tutor at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Waters and Wright first played music together in late 1963, in a band formed by vocalist Keith Noble and bassist Clive Metcalfe, they called themselves Sigma 6, but used the name the Meggadeaths. Waters played rhythm guitar and Mason played drums, Wright played any keyboard he could arrange to use, Noble's sister Sheilagh provided occasional vocals. In the early years the band performed during private functions and rehearsed in a tearoom in the basement of Regent Street Polytechnic; when Metcalfe and Noble left to form their own group in September 1963, the remaining members asked Barrett and guitarist Bob Klose to join. Waters switched to the bass and by January 1964, the group became known as the Abdabs, or the Screaming Abdabs.
During late 1964, the band used the names Leonard's Lodgers, Spectrum Five, the Tea Set. Sometime during late 1965, the Tea Set began calling itself the Pink Floyd Sound the Pink Floyd Blues Band and by early 1966, Pink Floyd. By early 1966, Barrett was Pink Floyd's frontman and songwriter, he wrote or co-wrote all but one track of their debut LP The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, released in August 1967. Waters contributed the song "Take Up Thy Walk" to the album. By late 1967, Barrett's deteriorating mental health and erratic behaviour, rendered him "unable or unwilling" to continue in his capacity as Pink Floyd's singer-songwriter and lead guitarist. In early March 1968 Pink Floyd met with managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King of Blackhill Enterprises to discuss the band's future. Barrett agreed to lea
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is estimated at 1.770 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural and economic hub, its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once described as the'Paris of the North', Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Bombed at the start of the German invasion in 1939, the city withstood a siege for which it was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari. Deportations of the Jewish population to concentration camps led to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the destruction of the Ghetto after a month of combat.
A general Warsaw Uprising between August and October 1944 led to greater devastation and systematic razing by the Germans in advance of the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. Warsaw is one of Europe's most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the "Business-friendly" category and 8th in "Human capital and life style", it was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is a significant centre of research and development, Business process outsourcing, Information technology outsourcing, as well as of the Polish media industry; the Warsaw Stock Exchange is most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external border security as well as ODIHR, one of the principal institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union. The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw Polytechnic, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art; the picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail. Warsaw is positioning itself as Central and Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.
Warsaw's name in the Polish language is Warszawa. Other previous spellings of the name may have included Werszewa. According to some sources, the origin of the name is unknown. In Pre-Slavic toponomastic layer of Northern Mazovia: corrections and addenda, it is stated that the toponymy of northern Mazovia tends to have unclear etymology. Warszawa was the name of a fishing village. According to one theory Warszawa means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; however the ending -awa is unusual for a big city. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman and his wife, Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River. In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the modern-day site of the Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland; the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka and warszawianie.
Other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Varšuva, Varsó and Varšava The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were located in Bródno and Jazdów. After Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa; the Prince of Płock, Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern-day Warsaw, in about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the official capital of the Masovian Duchy in 1413. 14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. In 1529, Warsaw for the first time became the seat of th
2015 Polish Constitutional Court crisis
The Polish Constitutional Court crisis of 2015 is a political conflict which began in Poland in October 2015 with the appointment of five Constitutional Tribunal judges by the Civic Platform party. As of 20 December 2017, the crisis had, according to the European Commission, extended to include "13 laws affecting the entire structure of the justice system in Poland"; the Constitutional Tribunal changes included the replacement of three judges whose terms were not due to expire until after the first possible date of meeting of the new parliament and two judges whose terms were not due to expire until after the last possible date of meeting of the new parliament. According to Polish law, judges of the Constitutional Tribunal are to be elected by the parliament, sitting when the terms of the previous judges expire. Civic Platform was predicted to lose the upcoming elections. After the Law and Justice party won the parliamentary election, it made its own appointments to the court, arguing that the previous appointments of the five judges by PO were unconstitutional.
In December, PiS changed the court's decision-making power by prescribing a two-thirds majority vote and mandatory participation of at least 13 of the 15 judges on the Constitutional Tribunal. The appointments and amendments caused domestic protests and counter-protests in late December and early January; the law changes were criticized by European Commission as threatening the rule of law and the human rights of Polish citizens. On June 25, 2015, the government adopted a new law regarding the constitutional court. Constitution Court found this law as unconstitutional, it was signed by the president on July 21, 2015. On October 8, 2015 the outgoing Polish Parliament, on last meeting day, led by Civic Platform as the main party of the governing coalition, elected five new Constitutional Tribunal judges. Three of them replaced judges whose nine-year terms were to expire on November 6, while two were to replace judges whose terms were due to expire in December; the judges were chosen on the basis of a law passed earlier in the summer, by the PO-controlled Sejm.
At the time of the judges' election, opinion polls had shown that the Civic Platform was to lose the upcoming Polish parliamentary election on October 25. If the judges appointed by PO had taken their seats on the Tribunal, the result would have been that 14 out of 15 Constitutional Tribunal judges would have been selected by the Civic Platform. However, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, refused to swear in these judges stating that they had been chosen "in contravention of democratic principles". On October 25, the Law and Justice party won an unprecedented absolute majority of seats in the Polish parliamentary election. On November 16, new Prime Minister Beata Szydło and her Cabinet took power. On November 19, 2015 the new Sejm passed an amendment to the existing law, mandated the appointment of five new judges, set term limits for the president and vice president of the court, stipulated term limits for two sitting judges; the president, Andrzej Duda, signed the amendment on November 20, but the law was challenged at the Constitutional Tribunal.
On December 2, the Sejm elected five new judges to the 15-member tribunal, claiming it would prevent the appointed five from taking office. PiS delegates argued that the previous appointments made by PO contradicted existing law and the Polish constitution. On 3 December the Constitutional Court ruled that out of the five judges elected by PO, the election of three judges was valid, while the appointment of the other two breached the law. Again, President Duda refused to swear any of these judges into office. According to his spokesman, Duda refused to swear these three judges into office, because the number of Constitutional Court judges would be unconstitutional. On 4 December and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczyński, who had called the Constitutional Court "the bastion of everything in Poland, bad" questioned the legitimacy of the Court's decision, because it was made by fewer judges than required by law. Kaczyński announced changes in the law regarding the Constitutional Court, but gave no details.
On 11 January 2016, the Constitutional Court rejected a complaint by Civic Platform questioning the appointment of the five new judges by the new Parliament. Three of the Court's judges dissented, including Andrzej Rzepliński. On 22 December 2015 the Sejm passed a law; the new law introduced a two-thirds majority and the mandatory participation of at least 13, instead of 9, of the 15 judges. Art. 190 of the Polish Constitution requires only the majority of votes. Furthermore, pending constitutional proceedings had to wait in the docket for six months, or under exceptional circumstances for three months; the Court is now bound to handle the cases according to the date of receipt. Judges of the Constitutional Court can be dismissed on request of the Sejm, the President or the Department of Justice; the bill was approved by the Polish Senate on 24 December 2015 after an overnight session, signed by President Duda on 28 December 2015. It has been said that as a result, the decision-making capacity of the court has been "paralysed".
On 9 March 2016 the Constitutional Court ruled the amendments non-compliant with the Polish constitution. The Polish government regards this verdict as not binding, as it was not based on the rules i
President of Poland
The President of the Republic of Poland is the head of state of Poland. Their rights and obligations are determined in the Constitution of Poland; the president heads the executive branch. In addition the president has a right to dissolve parliament in certain cases, veto legislation and represents Poland in the international arena; the first president of Poland, Gabriel Narutowicz, was sworn in as president of the Second Polish Republic on 11 December 1922. He was elected by the National Assembly under the terms of the 1921 March Constitution. Narutowicz was assassinated on 16 December 1922. Józef Piłsudski had been "Chief of State" under the provisional Small Constitution of 1919. In 1926 Piłsudski staged the "May Coup", deposed President Stanisław Wojciechowski and had the National Assembly elect a new one, Ignacy Mościcki, thus establishing the so-called "Sanation regime". Before Piłsudski's death, parliament passed a more authoritarian 1935 April Constitution of Poland. Mościcki continued as president until he resigned in 1939 in the aftermath of the German Invasion of Poland.
Mościcki and his government went into exile into Romania. In Angers, France Władysław Raczkiewicz, at the time the speaker of the Senate, assumed the presidency after Mościcki's resignation on 29 September 1939. Following the fall of France, the president and the Polish government-in-exile were evacuated to London, United Kingdom; the transfer from Mościcki to Raczkiewicz was in accordance with Article 24 of the 1935 April Constitution. Raczkiewicz was followed by a succession of presidents in exile, of whom the last one was Ryszard Kaczorowski. In 1944–45 Poland became a part of Soviet-controlled central-eastern Europe. Bolesław Bierut assumed the reins of government and in July 1945 was internationally recognized as the head of state; the Senate was abolished in 1946 by the Polish people's referendum. When the Sejm passed the Small Constitution of 1947, based in part on the 1921 March Constitution, Bierut was elected president by that body, he served until the Constitution of the Polish People's Republic of 1952 eliminated the office of the president.
Following the 1989 amendments to the constitution which restored the presidency, Wojciech Jaruzelski, the existing head of state, took office. In Poland's first direct presidential election, Lech Wałęsa won and was sworn in on 22 December 1990; the office of the president was preserved in the Constitution of Poland passed in 1997. The President of Poland is elected directly by the people to serve for five years and can be reelected only once. Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the President is elected by an absolute majority. If no candidate succeeds in passing this threshold, a second round of voting is held with the participation of the two candidates with the largest and second largest number of votes respectively. In order to be registered as a candidate in the presidential election, one must be a Polish citizen, be at least 35 years old on the day of the first round of the election and collect at least 100,000 signatures of registered voters; the President has a free choice in selecting the Prime Minister, yet in practice he gives the task of forming a new government to a politician supported by the political party with the majority of seats in the Sejm.
The President has the right to initiate the legislative process. He has the opportunity to directly influence it by using his veto to stop a bill. Before signing a bill into law, the President can ask the Constitutional Tribunal to verify its compliance with the Constitution, which in practice bears a decisive influence on the legislative process. In his role as supreme representative of the Polish state, the President has power to ratify and revoke international agreements and recalls ambassadors, formally accepts the accreditations of representatives of other states; the President makes decisions on award of highest academic titles, as well as state distinctions and orders. In addition, he has the right of viz. he can dismiss final court verdicts. The President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; the President performs his duties with the help of the following offices: the Chancellery of the President, the Office of National Security, the Body of Advisors to the President. Several properties are owned by the Office of the President and are used by the Head of State as his or her official residence, private residence, residence for visiting foreign officials etc.
The Presidential Palace in Warsaw is largest palace in Warsaw and the official seat of the President of the Republic of Poland since 1993. The first presidential tenant was Lech Wałęsa when he moved to the Palace from Belweder in 1994. Belweder, in Warsaw, was the official seat of the President until 1993, is owned by the Office of the President as the official residence of the President and is used by the President and the Government for ceremonial purposes; the palace serves as an official residence for heads of state on o
Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves; these representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association. "Rule of the majority" is sometimes referred to as democracy. Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes; the uncertainty of outcomes is inherent in democracy, which makes all forces struggle for the realization of their interests, being the devolution of power from a group of people to a set of rules.
Western democracy, as distinct from that which existed in pre-modern societies, is considered to have originated in city-states such as Classical Athens and the Roman Republic, where various schemes and degrees of enfranchisement of the free male population were observed before the form disappeared in the West at the beginning of late antiquity. The English word dates back to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents. According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. Todd Landman draws our attention to the fact that democracy and human rights are two different concepts and that "there must be greater specificity in the conceptualisation and operationalization of democracy and human rights"; the term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy, meaning "rule of an elite".
While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically. The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class, until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy; these oppositions, inherited from Greek philosophy, are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic and monarchic elements. Karl Popper defined democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.
No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, political freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative, the freedom of its eligible citizens is secured by legitimised rights and liberties which are protected by a constitution. Other uses of "democracy" include that of direct democracy. One theory holds that democracy requires three fundamental principles: upward control, political equality, social norms by which individuals and institutions only consider acceptable acts that reflect the first two principles of upward control and political equality; the term "democracy" is sometimes used as shorthand for liberal democracy, a variant of representative democracy that may include elements such as political pluralism.
Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot provide personal and political freedom unless the institutions of civil society are present. In some countries, notably in the United Kingdom which originated the Westminster system, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty, while maintaining judicial independence. In the United States, separation of powers is cited as a central attribute. In India, parliamentary sovereignty is subject to the Constitution of India which includes judicial review. Though the term "democracy" is used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organisations. Majority rule is listed as a characteristic of democracy. Hence, democracy allows for political minorities to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority" in the absence of legal protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an "ideal" representative democracy is competitive elections that are substantively and procedurally "fair," i.e. just and equitable
Human rights are "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled" Examples of rights and freedoms which are thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and property, freedom of expression, pursuit of happiness and equality before the law. All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Ancient peoples did not have the same modern-day conception of universal human rights; the true forerunner of human-rights discourse was the concept of natural rights which appeared as part of the medieval natural law tradition that became prominent during the European Enlightenment. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the 20th century.17th-century English philosopher John Locke discussed natural rights in his work, identifying them as being "life and estate", argued that such fundamental rights could not be surrendered in the social contract.
In Britain in 1689, the English Bill of Rights and the Scottish Claim of Right each made illegal a range of oppressive governmental actions. Two major revolutions occurred during the 18th century, in the United States and in France, leading to the United States Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen both of which articulated certain human rights. Additionally, the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 encoded into law a number of fundamental civil rights and civil freedoms. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life and the pursuit of Happiness. Philosophers such as Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill and Hegel expanded on the theme of universality during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1831 William Lloyd Garrison wrote in a newspaper called The Liberator that he was trying to enlist his readers in "the great cause of human rights" so the term human rights came into use sometime between Paine's The Rights of Man and Garrison's publication.
In 1849 a contemporary, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about human rights in his treatise On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, influential on human rights and civil rights thinkers. United States Supreme Court Justice David Davis, in his 1867 opinion for Ex Parte Milligan, wrote "By the protection of the law, human rights are secured. In Western Europe and North America, labour unions brought about laws granting workers the right to strike, establishing minimum work conditions and forbidding or regulating child labour; the women's rights movement succeeded in gaining for many women the right to vote. National liberation movements in many countries succeeded in driving out colonial powers. One of the most influential was Mahatma Gandhi's movement to free his native India from British rule. Movements by long-oppressed racial and religious minorities succeeded in many parts of the world, among them the civil rights movement, more recent diverse identity politics movements, on behalf of women and minorities in the United States.
The foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 1864 Lieber Code and the first of the Geneva Conventions in 1864 laid the foundations of International humanitarian law, to be further developed following the two World Wars. The League of Nations was established in 1919 at the negotiations over the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I; the League's goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation and improving global welfare. Enshrined in its Charter was a mandate to promote many of the rights which were included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the League of Nations had mandates to support many of the former colonies of the Western European colonial powers during their transition from colony to independent state. Established as an agency of the League of Nations, now part of United Nations, the International Labour Organization had a mandate to promote and safeguard certain of the rights included in the UDHR: the primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity and human dignity.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 in response to the barbarism of World War II. The UDHR urges member nations to promote a number of human, civil and social rights, asserting these rights are part of the "foundation of freedom and peace in the world"; the declaration was the first international legal effort to limit the behavior of states and press upon them duties to their citizens following the model of the rights-duty duality....recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom and peace in the world The UDHR was framed by members of the Human Rights Commission, with Eleanor Roosevelt as Chair, who began to discuss an International Bill of Rights in 1947. The members of the Commission did not agree on the form of such a bill of rights, whe