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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
bill of rights
▪ A free-speech amendment to a bill of rights has had a certain success that might be emulated.
▪ Above all, the meeting hammered out a bill of rights for women.
▪ At least a bill of rights would provide standards - laid down by parliament - against which our judiciary would have to operate.
▪ Despite its nonbinding nature, expectations were high that the bill of rights would have a strong political and social impact.
▪ It decided Wednesday not to include anything in the bill of rights unless there were unanimous agreement.
▪ Likewise, on a bill of rights, being against Hattersley was, in some quarters, almost an end in itself.
▪ One of the most frequent criticisms of a bill of rights is the power of interpretation it would afford to the judiciary.
▪ The plans include changing the bill of rights, restoring police power to ban protests and restricting foreign funding of local groups.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Bill of rights

Right \Right\, n. [AS. right. See Right, a.]

  1. That which is right or correct. Specifically:

    1. The straight course; adherence to duty; obedience to lawful authority, divine or human; freedom from guilt, -- the opposite of moral wrong.

    2. A true statement; freedom from error of falsehood; adherence to truth or fact.

      Seldom your opinions err; Your eyes are always in the right.

    3. A just judgment or action; that which is true or proper; justice; uprightness; integrity.

      Long love to her has borne the faithful knight, And well deserved, had fortune done him right.

  2. That to which one has a just claim. Specifically:

    1. That which one has a natural claim to exact.

      There are no rights whatever, without corresponding duties.

    2. That which one has a legal or social claim to do or to exact; legal power; authority; as, a sheriff has a right to arrest a criminal.

    3. That which justly belongs to one; that which one has a claim to possess or own; the interest or share which anyone has in a piece of property; title; claim; interest; ownership.

      Born free, he sought his right.

      Hast thou not right to all created things?

      Men have no right to what is not reasonable.

    4. Privilege or immunity granted by authority.

  3. The right side; the side opposite to the left.

    Led her to the Souldan's right.

  4. In some legislative bodies of Europe (as in France), those members collectively who are conservatives or monarchists. See Center,

  5. 5. The outward or most finished surface, as of a piece of cloth, a carpet, etc. At all right, at all points; in all respects. [Obs.] --Chaucer. Bill of rights, a list of rights; a paper containing a declaration of rights, or the declaration itself. See under Bill. By right, By rights, or By good rights, rightly; properly; correctly. He should himself use it by right. --Chaucer. I should have been a woman by right. --Shak. Divine right, or Divine right of kings, a name given to the patriarchal theory of government, especially to the doctrine that no misconduct and no dispossession can forfeit the right of a monarch or his heirs to the throne, and to the obedience of the people. To rights.

    1. In a direct line; straight. [R.]

    2. At once; directly. [Obs. or Colloq.]

      To set to rights, To put to rights, to put in good order; to adjust; to regulate, as what is out of order.

      Writ of right (Law), a writ which lay to recover lands in fee simple, unjustly withheld from the true owner.

Bill of rights

Bill \Bill\, n. [OE. bill, bille, fr. LL. billa (or OF. bille), for L. bulla anything rounded, LL., seal, stamp, letter, edict, roll; cf. F. bille a ball, prob. fr. Ger.; cf. MHG. bickel, D. bikkel, dice. Cf. Bull papal edict, Billet a paper.]

  1. (Law) A declaration made in writing, stating some wrong the complainant has suffered from the defendant, or a fault committed by some person against a law.

  2. A writing binding the signer or signers to pay a certain sum at a future day or on demand, with or without interest, as may be stated in the document. [Eng.]

    Note: In the United States, it is usually called a note, a note of hand, or a promissory note.

  3. A form or draft of a law, presented to a legislature for enactment; a proposed or projected law.

  4. A paper, written or printed, and posted up or given away, to advertise something, as a lecture, a play, or the sale of goods; a placard; a poster; a handbill.

    She put up the bill in her parlor window.

  5. An account of goods sold, services rendered, or work done, with the price or charge; a statement of a creditor's claim, in gross or by items; as, a grocer's bill.

  6. Any paper, containing a statement of particulars; as, a bill of charges or expenditures; a weekly bill of mortality; a bill of fare, etc. Bill of adventure. See under Adventure. Bill of costs, a statement of the items which form the total amount of the costs of a party to a suit or action. Bill of credit.

    1. Within the constitution of the United States, a paper issued by a State, on the mere faith and credit of the State, and designed to circulate as money. No State shall ``emit bills of credit.''
      --U. S. Const.

    2. Among merchants, a letter sent by an agent or other person to a merchant, desiring him to give credit to the bearer for goods or money.

      Bill of divorce, in the Jewish law, a writing given by the husband to the wife, by which the marriage relation was dissolved.
      --Jer. iii. 8.

      Bill of entry, a written account of goods entered at the customhouse, whether imported or intended for exportation.

      Bill of exceptions. See under Exception.

      Bill of exchange (Com.), a written order or request from one person or house to another, desiring the latter to pay to some person designated a certain sum of money therein generally is, and, to be negotiable, must be, made payable to order or to bearer. So also the order generally expresses a specified time of payment, and that it is drawn for value. The person who draws the bill is called the drawer, the person on whom it is drawn is, before acceptance, called the drawee, -- after acceptance, the acceptor; the person to whom the money is directed to be paid is called the payee. The person making the order may himself be the payee. The bill itself is frequently called a draft. See Exchange.

      Bill of fare, a written or printed enumeration of the dishes served at a public table, or of the dishes (with prices annexed) which may be ordered at a restaurant, etc.

      Bill of health, a certificate from the proper authorities as to the state of health of a ship's company at the time of her leaving port.

      Bill of indictment, a written accusation lawfully presented to a grand jury. If the jury consider the evidence sufficient to support the accusation, they indorse it ``A true bill,'' otherwise they write upon it ``Not a true bill,'' or ``Not found,'' or ``Ignoramus'', or ``Ignored.''

      Bill of lading, a written account of goods shipped by any person, signed by the agent of the owner of the vessel, or by its master, acknowledging the receipt of the goods, and promising to deliver them safe at the place directed, dangers of the sea excepted. It is usual for the master to sign two, three, or four copies of the bill; one of which he keeps in possession, one is kept by the shipper, and one is sent to the consignee of the goods.

      Bill of mortality, an official statement of the number of deaths in a place or district within a given time; also, a district required to be covered by such statement; as, a place within the bills of mortality of London.

      Bill of pains and penalties, a special act of a legislature which inflicts a punishment less than death upon persons supposed to be guilty of treason or felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.

      Bill of parcels, an account given by the seller to the buyer of the several articles purchased, with the price of each.

      Bill of particulars (Law), a detailed statement of the items of a plaintiff's demand in an action, or of the defendant's set-off.

      Bill of rights, a summary of rights and privileges claimed by a people. Such was the declaration presented by the Lords and Commons of England to the Prince and Princess of Orange in 1688, and enacted in Parliament after they became king and queen. In America, a bill or declaration of rights is prefixed to most of the constitutions of the several States.

      Bill of sale, a formal instrument for the conveyance or transfer of goods and chattels.

      Bill of sight, a form of entry at the customhouse, by which goods, respecting which the importer is not possessed of full information, may be provisionally landed for examination.

      Bill of store, a license granted at the customhouse to merchants, to carry such stores and provisions as are necessary for a voyage, custom free.

      Bills payable (pl.), the outstanding unpaid notes or acceptances made and issued by an individual or firm.

      Bills receivable (pl.), the unpaid promissory notes or acceptances held by an individual or firm.

      A true bill, a bill of indictment sanctioned by a grand jury.

bill of rights

n. A formal statement of the rights of a specified group of people

Bill of rights

A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private citizens. The term "bill of rights" originates from England, where it refers to the Bill of Rights 1689 enacted by Parliament following the Glorious Revolution, asserting the supremacy of Parliament over the monarch, and listing a number of fundamental rights and liberties.

Bills of rights may be entrenched or unentrenched. An entrenched bill of rights cannot be modified or repealed by a country's legislature through normal procedure, instead requiring a supermajority or referendum; often it is part of a country's constitution and therefore subject to special procedures applicable to constitutional amendments. A not entrenched bill of rights is a normal statute law and as such can be modified or repealed by the legislature at will.

In practice, not every jurisdiction enforces the protection of the rights articulated in its bill of rights.

Usage examples of "bill of rights".

Jubal longed for the good old days when a lawyer could cite the Bill of Rights and not have some over-riding Federation trickery defeat him.

A second and more drastic Bill of Rights demanded that the sovereign of England should belong to the Anglican church.

A constitution had been drawn up during the first year, much like the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States, but going into detail and spelling out exactly what the citizens of Tri-states could receive and expect if they lived under that document.

I used the occasion to push the Middle-Class Bill of Rights and my proposal to increase the minimum wage by 90 cents over two years, from $4.

In 1993, a group including evolutionist Richard Dawkins and best-selling science fiction writer Douglas Adams published the Declaration on Great Apes, which urged the adoption of a bill of rights for our simian cousins.

There was no need to actually burn the old Bill of Rights if it only applied to adults—.

The Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights spoke of a right against intrusion by the state-but it left a great deal of room for maneuver by those in authority who wished to investigate citizens, and besides offered citizens virtually no protection against other bodies, such as corporations or the press or even other citizens.