Duties and Rights Law and Legal Definition

Generally, a duty is an obligation and a right is a entitlement. They may exist as a moral or a legal matter. For example, morally, a person may have a duty not to hurt another's feelings. However, case law and statutes provide the legal framework or parameters defining when harmful communications constitute defamation and the procedures governing obtaining redress.

Rights may also exist on a moral or legal matter. For example, an employee has a moral right to be treated with appreciation and respect by an employer. Employment and discrimination laws provide the legal framework defining an employee's rights to freedom from being disadvantaged by an employer's discriminatory intent based on certain grounds, such as age, sex, handicap, or religion. A moral right cannot be the basis for seeking relief through the legal system. There must be a law creating a right before that right can be enforced through the legal sytem.