- civil liberty
- Civil liberty (or liberties) refers to those areas in which governmental power should rarely intrude on the free choice of individuals. It restrains the interference of government, marking out a sphere of governmental inactivity. Examples include free speech, freedom of worship and freedom from arbitrary arrest, which protect the individual against excessive governmental interference. They are sometimes known negative rights. A concern for civil liberties is often given as the reason why state power should not be extended into areas of life traditionally regarded as private – for example, many British people argue that they should not have to prove their identity by carrying an ID card. Critics of the Blair Governments suggest that the government been insufficiently sensitive to considerations of personal liberty because of its concerns over the threat of terrorist activity.
Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.