Due process  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Due process is the legal principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land protecting individual persons from the state. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law it constitutes a due process violation which offends against the rule of law.

Due process has also been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings (see substantive due process), so judges - instead of legislators - may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. This interpretation has proven controversial, and is analogous to the concepts of natural justice, and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions. This interpretation of due process is sometimes expressed as a command that the government shall not be unfair to the people or shall not abuse them physically.

Due process is not used in contemporary English law, though two similar concepts are natural justice (which generally applies only to decisions of administrative agencies and some types of private bodies like trade unions) and the British constitutional concept of the rule of law as articulated by A. V. Dicey and others.

Due process developed from clause 39 of the Magna Carta in England. When English and American law gradually diverged, due process was not upheld in England, but did become incorporated in the Constitution in the United States.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Due process" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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