Individual Rights vs Public Order

Topics: Individual rights, Rights, United States Bill of Rights Pages: 8 (2544 words) Published: February 1, 2009
Running Head: Individual Rights vs. Public Order

Individual Rights vs. Public Order

Antoine Brown, Lisa Hammond, Bobby Harper, Sean Sabulsky, and She’Londra Smith

University of Phoenix

Individual Rights vs. Public Order

A great deal of controversy surrounds the debate about whether individual rights or public order is more appropriate and which is better for the country. The United States was founded on many different ideas and ideals and public order along with individual rights was an important issue then and still is now. The question is what is more important, having a strong public order which limits individual rights for the safety of society or more individual rights? Evaluating public order and the individual rights advantages and disadvantages are important in solving this. This paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public order and individual rights.

As our society enters into the 21 century, a fine thin line exists between individual rights and public order. What is public order? Public order maintains crime control and social order. Public order takes superiority over individual rights. Without public order, society would not even have any human rights; because crime would tend to take over. The public must realize that some sacrifices of individual rights and liberties has to be made in order to achieve and maintain a safe, stable society in which the individual may exercise those rights (Inbau, 1999). However, public order has its advantages and disadvantages.

In the United States, the rights of individuals are often the most important center of attention in provisions of law and society. In actuality, individual rights are grounded in the United States Constitution; which also institutes the duties of both citizens of society and the government. Conflict is natural between people’s individual rights and the government responsibility to carry out the social agreement to society to maintain public order (Center for Civic Education, 2008).

However, when it comes down to choose a side to individual rights or public order, two sides to the argument exists. Those who hold up the predominance of individual rights over the protection of public order argue that the security of society comes primarily all the way through the acknowledgment of the rights of the individual. The familiar law and the accepted law are used as the foundation for this position. However, even the government and the United States Supreme Court has documentation of incredibly genuine restrictions to individual rights.

Those who support the dominance of the safeguarding of public order over individual rights quarrel the opposed; public safety should be first and most important the center of attention of the law and society. Lundberg had pointed out; no individual is permitted under law to advance his or her rights by actions that deny, violate, or trample upon the rights of others (Lendman, 2007). People of society do hold the right to life such as individual right, but do not possess the right to bring harm towards another to ensure bodily survival.

The advantages of public order are that it maintains laws that decrease crime rate, fear of crime, and terrorism in the United States. That is where the United States Patriot Act of 2001 takes place with the fight against terrorism. Other advantages are it lowers crime which increases society security and increases nationwide security by providing laws that deter crime and terrorism without letting individual rights limit techniques. The only disadvantage public order has is that the laws limit individual rights.

Without public order in what way can the government promote individual security, enhance economic prosperity, protect individual rights, promote the common good, and provide national security for the people of society? The government could not; and there would be chaos and fear...

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Center for Civic Education. (2008). National Standards for Civics and Government. 9-12 Content Standards. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from
Chester, Burke. Individual rights, not human rights. (Letters)(Letter to the editor). Florida Bar News (Oct. 15, 2008) p.2(1) General OneFile Retrieved from Gale Apollo Library on Nov.14, 2008.
Inbau, F.E. (1999). More about public safety v. individual civil liberties. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Chicago: Summer 1999. Vol. 89, ISS. 4, pg 1421, 7 pgs. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from Axia College of the University of Phoenix Library ProQuest database website
Lendman, S.(2007). Cracks in the Constitution by Stephen Lendman (Review; Ferdinand Lundberg). Dandelion Salad. Global research. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from
Lloyd, Bruce. "Rights and responsibilities.(FEEDBACK)(Letter to the editor)." The Futurist 42.3 (May-June 2008): 4(1). General OneFile. Gale. Apollo Library. 13 Nov. 2008 
Siegel J. Larry, Senna J. Joseph. “Introduction To Criminal Justice.” Eleventh Edition.(2008).
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