Monday, 9 June 2014

Quiz: high ideals

Taking a cue from Lord Norton on Lords of the Blog, here is a selection of extracts from constitutions or manifestos in order of adoption. Two should be easy to identify, the others might be more difficult:

Extract 1:
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted

Extract 2:
Women [...] are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life. The possibility of exercising these rights is ensured to women by granting them an equal right with men to work, payment for work, rest and leisure, social insurance and education, and by state protection of the interests of mother and child, prematernity and maternity leave with full pay, and the provision of a wide network of maternity homes, nurseries and kindergartens. 

Equality of rights of citizens [...], irrespective of their nationality or race, in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life, is an indefeasible law. Any direct or indirect restriction of the rights of, or, conversely, any establishment of direct or indirect privileges for, citizens on account of their race or nationality, as well as any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness or hatred and contempt, is punishable by law. 

[...] citizens [...] are guaranteed by law: 
freedom of speech;
freedom of the press;
freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
freedom of street processions and demonstrations. 
These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.

[...] Citizens [...] are guaranteed inviolability of the person. No person may be placed under arrest except by decision of a court or with the sanction of a procurator. 

Extract 3:
the present consti­tution [...] fails to protect individual rights against arbitrary curtailment.
[...] aims to achieve the responsible partici­pation of all [...] in the Government and Demo­cratic processes of the country and, to this end, to extend the right of franchise on the common roll to all adult persons.
[...] advocates a controlled consti­tution, in which a Bill of Rights will be entrenched. The Bill of Rights will be based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the rights enshrined in it will be placed outside the powers of an ordinary parliamentary majority.
In order further to limit the power concentrated in the hands of the central legislature, and to enable those provinces or regions which have special language, cul­tural or other interests to safeguard their interests, [...] advocates a decentralised form of consti­tution. The powers of the provincial authorities should be defined in the constitution and should not be subject to alteration by an ordinary parliamentary majority.
If constitutional guarantees are to be effective, it is essential that the power to enforce them should be vested in an independent judiciary. The right of the Supreme Court to declare legislation invalid if it offends against the provisions of the constitution must be recognised, and the independence of the judiciary must be fully guaranteed.
By the fundamental principles laid down in its con­stitution, [...] is pledged to strive for the essential dignity of every human being, for the mainte­nance of the fundamental rights of the individual and for the maintenance of the rule of law. The full recognition of such basic freedoms as the freedom of speech, assembly and association, the freedom of religion and belief, the freedom of movement and the freedom to seek employment thus constitutes one of the cornerstones of the Party's policy.
Extract 4:

[...] exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.

We look forward to a world in which all people share the same basic rights, in which they live together in peace and in which their different cultures will be able to develop freely. We believe that each generation is responsible for the fate of our planet and, by safeguarding the balance of nature and the environment, for the long term continuity of life in all its forms. Upholding these values of individual and social justice, we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality. Recognising that the quest for freedom and justice can never end, we promote human rights and open government, a sustainable economy which serves genuine need, public services of the highest quality, international action based on a recognition of the interdependence of all the world’s peoples and responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources. We believe that people should be involved in running their communities. We are determined to strengthen the democratic process and ensure that there is a just and representative system of government with effective Parliamentary institutions, freedom of information, decisions taken at the lowest practicable level and a fair voting system for all elections. We will at all times defend the right to speak, write, worship, associate and vote freely, and we will protect the right of citizens to enjoy privacy in their own lives and homes. We believe that sovereignty rests with the people and that authority in a democracy derives from the people.

My reader is invited to guess the nation, the body responsible for the document from which the extract is taken, and the rough date in each case.

No comments: