NO-RIGHT

NO-RIGHT

no-right, n. The absence of right against another in some particular respect. ? A no-right is the correlative of a privilege.

¡ª Also termed liability.

¡°A says to B, ¡®If you will agree to pay me $100 for this horse you may have him and you may indicate your agreement by taking him.¡¯ This is a physical fact, called an offer, consisting of certain muscular acts of A having certain physical results in B. The legal relations immediately following are (in part) as follows: B now has the privilege of taking the horse and A has no-right that he shall not ….¡± William R. Anson, Principles of the Law of Contract 321 (Arthur L. Corbin ed., 3d Am. ed. 1919).

¡° ¡®No-right¡¯ is sometimes derided as being a purely negative concept. If a no-right is something that is not a right, the class of no-rights must, it is said, include elephants. The answer is that negative terms are often useful as alternative ways of stating propositions involving negatives. For instance, the terms ¡®alien,¡¯ ¡®cold,¡¯ and ¡®dark¡¯ are all negative or privative, because their meaning includes the idea of the absence of something else. The proposition that A is an alien means that A is not a British subject; in the one mode of statement the negative is incorporated in the noun, whereas in the other it is expressed as a separate word. Similarly the word ¡®liberty¡¯ is negative, and critics who attack the concept of no-right should logically attack the concept of liberty also…. [L]iberty means ¡®no-duty not.¡¯ … [F]or the sake of clear thinking it is necessary to give each of the four meanings [of right] a separate name. Words like ¡®no-right¡¯ and ¡®no-duty¡¯ may seem uncouth at first sight, but it is surely a clear and useful statement to say that ¡®right¡¯ sometimes means ¡®no-duty not.¡¯ ¡± John Salmond, Jurisprudence 240¨C41 n. (u) (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947).


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