Privilege


Privilege

A privilege—etymologically "private law" or law relating to a specific individual—is a special entitlement or immunity granted by a government or other authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. A privilege can be revoked in some cases. In modern democracies, a "privilege" is conditional and granted only after birth. By contrast, a "right" is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from birth. Miscellaneous privileges, e.g. the old common law privilege to title deeds, may still exist, though of little relevance today. [Suzanna McNichol, "The Law of Privilege" (1st ed, 1992)]

In a broader sense, 'privilege' can refer to special powers or 'de facto' immunities held as a consequence of political power or wealth. Privilege of this sort may be transmitted by birth into a privileged class or achieved through individual actions. Compare elite.

One of the objectives of the French Revolution was the abolition of privilege. This meant the removal of separate laws for different social classes (nobility, clergy and ordinary people), instead subjecting everyone to the same common law. Privileges were abolished by the National Constituent Assembly on August 4, 1789.

ee also

*Privilege in canon law
*Executive privilege
*White privilege
*Male privilege
*Heterosexual privilege
*Privileged communication

Notes


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Synonyms:
, , , , , , / , , / (some particular exemption), (with some peculiar right)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • privilège — [ privilɛʒ ] n. m. • 1190; var. privilegie, priviliège; lat. jurid. privilegium « loi concernant un particulier » 1 ♦ Droit, avantage particulier accordé à un seul individu ou à une catégorie, en dehors de la loi commune. ⇒ apanage. Concéder,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • privilege — priv·i·lege n [Latin privilegium law affecting a specific person, special right, from privus private + leg lex law] 1: a right, license, or exemption from duty or liability granted as a special benefit, advantage, or favor: as a: an exemption… …   Law dictionary

  • privilege — Privilege. s. m. Faculté accordée à un particulier, ou à une Communauté de faire quelque chose à l exclusion de tous autres. Un beau privilege. privilege exclusif. un privilege fort estendu. un privilege nouveau. un privilege d imprimer. un… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Privilege — • A permanent concession made by a legislator outside of the common law Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Privilege     Privilege      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • privilege — priv‧i‧lege [ˈprɪvlɪdʒ] noun 1. [countable] a special advantage given to a small group of people, organizations, countries etc: • The new trade privileges will enhance Vienna s effort to attract US companies. • The Treasury will allow dealers to …   Financial and business terms

  • Privilege — Privilège Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Privilege — Priv i*lege, n. [F. privil[ e]ge, L. privilegium an ordinance or law against or in favor of an individual; privus private + lex, legis, law. See {Private}, and {Legal}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor; a right or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • privilege — Privilege, C est à dire, une loy particuliere, pour ou contre aucun, Priuilegium, Vacatio. Toute ville qui jouissoit de mesmes privileges que la ville de Rome, Municipium. Le privilege aux bourgeois, Ius municipum, et ciuile. B. Crier par vertu… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Privilege — Priv i*lege, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Privileged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Privileging}.] [Cf. F. privil[ e]gier.] [1913 Webster] 1. To grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; to authorize; as, to privilege… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • privilege — (n.) mid 12c. (recorded earlier in Old English, but as a Latin word), from O.Fr. privilege (12c.), from L. privilegium law applying to one person, later privilege, from privus individual (see PRIVATE (Cf. private)) + lex (gen. legis) law (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • privilege — ► NOUN 1) a special right, advantage, or immunity for a particular person or group. 2) an opportunity to do something regarded as a special honour: she had the privilege of giving the opening lecture. 3) the right to say or write something… …   English terms dictionary


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