Equality before the law
Equality before the law, also known as equality under the law, equality in the eyes of the law, or legal equality, is the principle under which all people are subject to the same laws of justice (due process).1 The belief in equality before the law is called legal egalitarianism. Laws raise important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice.
Thus, the law and the judges must treat everyone equally before the law regardless of their race, gender, gender identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, or other characteristics, without privilege, discrimination, or bias.
"If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way"4
Still in 1988 the later supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote: "Generalizations about the way women or men are ... cannot guide me reliably in making decisions about particular individuals".6 In an ACLU's s Women's Rights Project in the 1970s Ginsburg challenged the laws that gave health service benefits to wives of servicemen but not to husbands of servicewomen and prohibited women from certain businesses including running a bar alone.5
Article 200 of the Criminal Code of Japan, the penalty regarding parricide, was declared unconstitutional for violating the equality under the law by the Supreme Court of Japan in 1973, as a result of the trial of the Tochigi patricide case.8
- All men are created equal
- Anti-discrimination law
- Civil and political rights
- Equal justice under law
- Equality of opportunity
- Global justice
- Prerogative - the inverse of equality before the law
- Right to equal protection
- Rule according to higher law
- Rule of law
- Social equality
- 7., description of the UN declaration article 7, the United Nations
- Chandran Kukathas, "Ethical Pluralism from a Classical Liberal Perspective," in The Many and the One: Religious and Secular Perspectives on Ethical Pluralism in the Modern World, ed. Richard Madsen and Tracy B. Strong, Ethikon Series in Comparative Ethics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 61 (ISBN 0-691-09993-6).
- Mark Evans, ed., Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Liberalism: Evidence and Experience (London: Routledge, 2001), 55 (ISBN 1-57958-339-3).
- Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, Written 431 B.C.E, Translated by Richard Crawley (1874), retrieved via Project Gutenberg.
- Feminist Jurisprudence: Equal Rights or Neo-Paternalism?, Michael Weiss and Cathy Young, Policy Analysis No. 256, Cato Institute, June 19, 1996, pages 1-2
- Jeff Rosen, "The Book of Ruth," New Republic, August 2, 1993, p. 19.
- Martha Chamallas, "Feminist Constructions of Objectivity: Multiple Perspectives in Sexual and Racial Harassment Litigation," Texas Journal of Women and the Law 1 (1992): 95, 131, 125.
- Dean, Meryll (2002). Japanese legal system. Routledge via Google Books. p. 535
- Shenfield, Arthur A. "Equality Before the Law," Modern Age, Spring 1973.
- International Society for Peace
- List of civil rights leaders
- List of suffragists and suffragettes
- List of women's rights activists