Rights are concerned with ‘interests’. Rights are defined as interests protected by moral or legal rules. But yet rights are different from interests. Interests are things which are to a man’s advantage. Eg. He has interest in his freedom or his reputation. If we say that a person has an interest in his reputation, what we mean is, that he stands to advantage of good name in the society, But, if we say that the person has a right to his reputation what we mean is, that others should not take this from him.
Every legal right has the following basic characteristics: –
1. It is vested in a person, that person may be called the owner of it, or the subject of it.
2. It avails against a person. It is on that other person that a corresponding duty is imposed. That person may be called the person bound, or as the person of incidence.
3. Right obliges the person bound, to an act or omission in favour of the person entitled.
4. The act or omission relates to a thing. It is called as the object or subject matter of the right.
5. Every legal right has a title. This means certain facts or events by reason of which the right has become vested in the owner
Kinds of Legal Rights:
Perfect rights: -A perfect right is one which corresponds to a perfect duty (The duty is recoginsed by law and is enforceable) Eg. Breach of contract. The right is protected and can be enforced by suing for compensation or for specific performance.
Imperfect Right:-Imperfect right is one which is recoginsed by law but is not enforceable. E.g. Time barred debts. Such a right to recover exists but not through the courts.
A duty is an act which one ought to do. Not doing of, amounts to a ‘wrong’. A duty may be moral or legal. It is a legal duty not to steal. If a person is curious, about his neighbours, there is no legal duty not to be so curious, this is a moral duty and therefore cannot be enforced through the courts.