A theoretical substantiation of the right to happiness as a constitutional right
The positivist thinking, current aspects of the social life, normalization of social relationships by legal rules, create only the illusion that the natural law was replaced by the positive right which we respect and apply daily under the legitimate authority of the State. However, the senses and the meanings of inalienable human rights have not been exhausted. On the contrary, they preserve their value and strength, particularly when Governments abuse their power, when the normative order is incomplete or when it is not able to adapt to the natural social requirements. In such cases, the application of the natural right is the reliable source for practical solutions including judicial regulation. Such an inalienable right is the „pursuit of happiness”, which the Fathers of the American Constitution laid down together with other natural rights into the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress on 4th July 1776. The Declaration of Independence provides that „to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”. The spirit of the Declaration of Independence was taken over in France by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen adopted in 1789. This Declaration provides that „The representatives of the French People, formed into a National Assembly, considering ignorance, forgetfulness or contempt of the rights of man to be the only causes of public misfortunes and the corruption of Governments, have resolved to set forth, in a solemn Declaration, the natural, unalienable and sacred rights of man…”. This way, the pursuit of happiness was admitted into the patrimony of the modern constitutionalism.
Keywords: natural rights, inalienable human rights, the right to happiness, legitimate governance, the Constituent Assembly
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