right

As a substantive (a right), designates a moral or legal claim to a thing or action; also the thing claimed. The claim is founded in law, natural or positive, and established by some title, or fact, in virtue of which the relationship of "mine, thine, his, etc.," is induced between a given person and a given thing (action). Such a relationship legitimately established has a twofold effect: it validates in the person concerned a definite, morally inviolable claim to the thing; and a corresponding moral obligation in all other persons to leave the claim inviolate. Rights are preceptive to the extent that they induce obligation in others; dominative to the extent that they give power to the claimant. This power may be jurisdictional: power to command others for the common welfare; or proprietary: power to use or exact some thing (action) for one's own use.

New Catholic Dictionary

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