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Due Process: Fair And Just

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By Author: Nickjackson
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Due Process is the only phrase that is used twice in the constitution of the United States, first in the fifth amendment and then to the fourteenth amendment of the constitution.

The fifth amendment states that without the due process of law, no one should be deprived of life, liberty, and property. Then again the fourteenth amendment that was ratified in 1868 states the same sentence following Due process.

Mentioning the phrase twice in the U.S constitution means that it is a quite important point that should be not sidelined.

Though the word seems to be a simple understanding of what is due process and how it works can be a little confusing.
Due process deals with the fact the legal matters should be solved and the decision should be taken according to the rules and laws made and everyone should be treated equally by giving fair chance so that the rights to equal justice may not be violated.


Evolution Of Due Process:

The phrase Due Process has been first traced in Magna Carta’s clause 39, which was issued by John of England and it focused on that no person should be imprisoned or devoid of his rights, or outlawed, or devoid of his standing in any way, or no one should proceed with force against him except there is judgment is lawful of his rights or by the law of land.

Thus Magna Carta established the rule of law and prevented the king from taking any decision against law or ignoring the laws. Thus the monarchy had to obey the laws made.

Specifically the phrase “due process of law” appeared in 1354 in the Magna Carta which stated that no one should be put out of his land or property, or no one should be put to death without being brought to answer by due process of law. Since then due process has always been part of British law for centuries.

Types of Due Process in the United States:

The due process mentioned in the fifth and fourteenth amendment of the U.S Constitution limits the government from taking any decision that may be against the laws and rules of the legal system.

1. Procedural Due Process: To prevent wrongful deprivation of life, liberty, and property, the federal government should give notice to the person, should have the right and opportunity to be heard, and the decision should be made by a neutral decision-maker.
This makes the proceedings fair and unbiased, thereby it prevents any type of violation whether to the rights of the people or the laws.

It prohibits the state from putting anyone to jail without prior notice or without giving them a chance to defend themselves.


2. Substantive Due Process: It is the power that states have to regulate some of the activities. It is the right given to the courts to protect certain fundamental rights from the interference of the government even if the rights are nowhere mentioned in the constitution of the United States.

The main distinction between the two is that the procedural due process deals with the procedures followed by the government before depriving a person of life, liberty, or property. And Substantive due process deals with the state’s power to regulate certain activities.

In brief, Due Process can be defined as the balance between powers of the state and the protection of a person from the power of the state. It deals with the fact that there should be no injustice and everybody should be given an equal opportunity of proving themselves. It involves legal requirements thereby protecting the citizens from being deprived of their legal rights. Thus to have a fair trial the states have to follow the steps of the due process that is giving prior notice, a chance to be heard, and the decision by a neutral decision-maker.


For more information visit: https://www.getlegal.com/legal-info-center/legal-research/u-s-constitution/5th-amendment/

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