Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II.: RELATIONS BETWEEN THE LAWS CONCERNING OFFENCES, RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS, AND SERVICES. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3
CHAPTER II.: RELATIONS BETWEEN THE LAWS CONCERNING OFFENCES, RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS, AND SERVICES. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 3.
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- Errata—vol. III.
- Defence of Usury; Showing the Impolicy of the Present Legal Restraints On the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains; In Letters to a Friend.
- Letter I.: Introduction.
- Letter II.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Usury.
- Letter III.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Prodigality.
- Letter IV.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Indigence.
- Letter V.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Simplicity.
- Letter VI.: Mischiefs of the Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VII.: Efficacy of Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VIII.: Virtual Usury Allowed.
- Letter IX.: Blackstone Considered.
- Letter X.: Grounds of the Prejudices Against Usury.
- Letter XI.: Compound Interest.
- Letter XII.: Maintenance and Champerty.
- Letter XIII.: To Dr. Smith, On Projects In Arts, &c.
- A Manual of Political Economy: Now First Edited From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: Introduction. *
- Chapter II.: Analytical Survey of the Field of Political Economy.
- Chapter III.: Of Wealth.
- Chapter IV.: Of Population.
- Chapter V.: Of Finance.
- Chapter VI.: Operation of a Sinking Fund On the Production of Wealth.
- Chapter VII.: Noscenda.
- Observations On the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System; Especially With a Reference to the Decree of the Spanish Cortes of July 1820.
- Preface.: Observations, &c.
- Section I.: Nature of the Prohibitory System.
- Section II.: Mischiefs of the Prohibitory System.
- Section III.: Causes of the Prohibitory System.
- A Plan For Saving All Trouble and Expense In the Transfer of Stock, and For Enabling the Proprietors to Receive Their Dividends Without Powers of Attorney, Or Attendance At the Bank of England, By the Conversion of Stock Into Note Annuities.
- Chapter I.: Plan For the Creation, Emission, Payment, and Eventual Extension, of a Proposed New Species of Government Paper, Under the Name of Annuity Notes.
- Chapter II.: Form of an Annuity Note. (see Table II.)
- Chapter III.: Comparison of the Proposed, With the Existing Government Securities, &c.
- Chapter IV.: Grounds of Expectation, In Regard to the Proposed Measure.
- Chapter V.: Financial Advantages.
- Chapter VI.: Advantage By Addition to National Capital.
- Chapter VII.: Advantage By Addition to Commercial Security.
- Chapter VIII.: Particular Interests Concerned.
- Chapter IX.: Rise of Prices—how to Obviate.
- Chapter X.: Reduction of Interest—proposed Mode Compared With Mr. Pelham’s.
- Chapter XI.: Moral Advantages.
- Chapter XII.: Constitutional Advantages.
- Chapter XIII.: Recapitulation and Conclusion.
- Appendix A.: Government Ought to Have the Monopoly of Paper Money, As Well As of Metallic Money.
- Appendix B.: Paper Money—causes Why Not Circulated By Government Without Interest, As Well As By Individuals.
- General View of a Complete Code of Laws.
- Chapter I.: General Division.
- Chapter II.: Relations Between the Laws Concerning Offences, Rights, Obligations, and Services.
- Chapter III.: Relation Between the Penal and Civil Code.
- Chapter IV.: Of Method.
- Chapter V.: Plan of the Penal Code.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Division of Offences.
- Chapter VIII. Titles of the Penal Code.
- Chapter IX.: First General Title of the Civil Code, * of Things.
- Chapter X.: Second General Title of the Civil Code. of Places.
- Chapter XI.: Third General Title of the Civil Code. of Times.
- Chapter XII.: Fourth General Title of the Civil Code. of Services.
- Chapter XIII.: Fifth General Title of the Civil Code. of Obligations.
- Chapter XIV.: Sixth General Title of the Civil Code. of Rights.
- Chapter XV.: Seventh General Title of the Civil Code. of Collative and Ablative Events.
- Chapter XVI.: Eighth General Title of the Civil Code. of Contracts.
- Chapter XVII.: Ninth General Title of the Civil Code. of the Domestic and Civil States.
- Chapter XVIII.: Tenth General Title of the Civil Code. of Persons Capable of Acquiring and of Contracting.
- Chapter XIX.: Of the Particular Titles of the Civil Code.
- Chapter XX.: Of Elementary Political Powers.
- Chapter XXI.: Of Elementary Political Powers— Subject Continued.
- Chapter XXII.: Plan of the Political Code.
- Chapter XXIII.: Plan of the International Code.
- Chapter XXIV.: Plan of the Maritime Code.
- Chapter XXV.: Plan of the Military Code.
- Chapter XXVI.: Plan of the Ecclesiastical Code.
- Chapter XXVII.: Plan of Remuneratory Laws.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Of Political Economy.
- Chapter XXIX.: Plan of the Financial Code.
- Chapter XXX.: Plan of Procedure Code.
- Chapter XXXI.: Of the Integrality of the Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXII.: Of Purity In the Composition of a Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXIII.: Of the Style of the Laws.
- Chapter XXXIV.: Of the Interpretation, Conservation, and Improvement of a Code.
- Pannomial Fragments.
- Chapter I.: General Observations.
- Chapter II.: Consideranda.
- Chapter III.: Expositions.
- Chapter IV.: Axioms.
- Nomography; Or the Art of Inditing Laws: Now First Published From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: The Subject Stated.
- Chapter II.: Relations.
- Chapter III.: Proper End In View.
- Chapter IV.: Imperfections Primary.
- Chapter V.: Explanations Relative to the Imperfections of the Second Order.
- Chapter VI.: Of Remedies. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Language.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Perfections of Which the Legislative Style Is Susceptible.
- Chapter IX.: Of Forms of Enactment.
- Appendix. Logical Arrangements, Or Instruments of Invention and Discovery
- Equity Dispatch Court Proposal; Containing a Plan For the Speedy and Unexpensive Termination of the Suits Now Depending In Equity Courts. With the Form of a Petition, and Some Account of a Proposed Bill For That Purpose
- Section I.: Purpose Explained. Jeremy Bentham to the Honest and Afflicted Among Equity Suitors.
- Section II.: Equity Suitors’ Petition For Dispatch Court. to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, —
- Section III.: Dispatch Court Bill—some Account of It.
- Section IV.: Information Requisite From Petitioning Suitors.
- Equity Dispatch Court Bill: Being a Bill For the Institution of an Experimental Judicatory Under the Name of the Court of Dispatch, For Exemplifying In Practice the Manner In Which the Proposed Summary May Be Substituted to the So Called Regular Sy
- Editor’s Note.
- Part I.—: Judiciary.
- Section I.: Judge Located, How.
- Section II.: Remuneration.
- Section III.: Registrar, &c.
- Section IV.: Eleemosynary Advocate.
- Section V.: Judges’, &c. Deputes.
- Section VI.: Judge’s Powers—exemptions—checks.
- Section VII.: Prehensors and Messengers.
- Section VIII.: Consignees; * Or Say, In-trust-holders.
- Section IX.: Grounds of Decision For the Dispatch Court Judge.
- Section X. ‡: Suits’ Comparative Suitableness; and Order of Cognizance.
- Section XI.: Auxiliary Judges and Accountants.
- Section XII.: Sittings, Times Of.
- Part II.—: Procedure.
- Section XIII.: Definitions. *
- Section XIV.: Examination of Solicitors.
- Section XV.: Initiatory Examination of Parties, &c.
- Section XVI.: Appropriate Intercourse, Constant and Universal, Secured.
- Section XVII.: Mutual Security For Forthcomingness of Persons and Things. ‡
- Section XVIII.: Evidence-procuring Money, How Provided.
- Section XIX.: Subsequential Evidence, How Elicited.
- Section XX.: Execution, How Performed.
- Section XXI.: Equity Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXII.: Dispatch Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXIII.: Eventual Retrotransference of a Suit to the Equity Court.
- Section XXIV.: Expense of the Court, How Provided For.
- Supplemental Sections:—
- Section I. Or XXV.: Bankruptcy and Insolvency.
- Section II. Or XXVI.: Henceforward Dispatch Court.
- Schedules to the Bill.
- Plan of Parliamentary Reform, In the Form of a Catechism, With Reasons For Each Article: With an Introduction, Showing the Necessity of Radical, and the Inadequacy of Moderate, Reform.
- Section I.: History of the Ensuing Tract—alarming State of the Country and the Constitution.
- Section II.: Most Prominent Present Grievance, Gareisoning France.
- Section III.: Causes of the Above and All Other Mischiefs:—particular Interests Monarchical and Aristocratical, Adverse to the Universal—their Ascendency.
- Section IV.: Sole Remedy In Principle—democratic Ascendency.
- Section V.: Remedy In Detail: Radical Parliamentary Reform: Elementary Arrangements In This Edition of It—their Necessity.
- Section VI.: Differences Between This and the Original Editions of Radical Reform.
- Section VII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage Further Considered.
- Section VIII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage—its Undangerousness.
- Section IX.: Freedom of Suffrage Further Explained—seductive Influence—its Forms, Instruments, &c.
- Section X.: Bribery and Terrorism Compared.
- Section XI.: Purchase of Seats—in What Cases Mischievous—in What Beneficial.
- Section XII.: Secresy of Suffrage—its Importance Further Developed.
- Section XIII.: Exclusion of Placemen, &c. From the Right of Voting—mischievousness and Profligacy of the Opposite Arrangement.
- Section XIV.: Universal Constancy of Attendance—its Importance.
- Section XV.: Representatives—impermanence of Their Situation—its Importance:—objections—their Groundlessness.
- Section XVI.: Moderate Reform—its Arrangements—their Inadequacy.
- Section XVII.: Trienniality Inadequate;—annuality Necessary.
- Section XVIII.: Interests Adverse to Adequate Reform—support Given By Them to Moderate, to the Exclusion of Radical: Tories—whigs—people’s Men.
- Catechism of Parliamentary Reform; Or, Outline of a Plan of Parliamentary Reform; In the Form of Question and Answer; With Reasons to Each Article.
- Section I.: Ends to Be Aimed At On the Occasion of Parliamentary Reform.
- Section II.: Means, Conducive Towards These Ends.
- Section III.: Means—their Uses, With Reference to Their Respective Ends.
- Section IV.: Means Conducive to Aptitude In Members: I. Placemen Not to Vote, Nor to Be Seated By Election.
- Section V.: Means, &c. Continued.—ii. Placemen Seated By the King, With Speech and Motion, Without Vote.
- Section VI.: Means, &c. Continued.—iii. Elections Frequent—annual.
- Section VII.: Means, &c. Continued.—iv. Speeches Authentically and Promptly Published.
- Section VIII.: Means, &c. Continued.—v. Attendance, Punctual and General, Secured.
- Section IX.: Inconveniences Incident to Elections, and Election Judicature.
- Section X.: Election Inconveniences—means For Their Removal.
- Section XI.: Collateral Advantages, Referable to the Situations of Electors, Placemen, Lords, &c.
- A Sketch of the Various Proposals For a Constitutional Reform In the Representation of the People, Introduced Into the Parliament of Great Britain, From 1770 to 1812.
- Radical Reform Bill, With Extracts From the Reasons.
- Preliminary Explanations.
- Title of the Proposed Act.
- Section 1.—: Seats and Districts.
- Section 2.—: Electors, Who.
- Section 3.—: Eligible, Who.
- Section 4.—: Election Offices.
- Section 5.: Election Apparatus.
- Section 6.—: Promulgation of Recommendations In Favour of Proposed Members.
- Section 7.—: Voters’ Titles Pre-established.
- Section 8.—: Election, How.
- Section 9.: Election Districts and Polling Districts, How Marked Out.
- Section 10.—: Vote-making Habitations, How Defined.
- Section 11.—: Members’ Continuance.
- Section 12.—: Vacancies Supplied.
- Section 13.—: Security For the House Against Disturbance By Members. †
- Section 14.—: Indisposition of Speakers Obviated.
- Appendix, Including General Explanations.
- Radicalism Not Dangerous. Extracted From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham. *
- Part I.—: Introduction.
- Section I.: Radical Reform Bill Recapitulated.
- Section II.: Persuasion of the Dangerousness of Radicalism—cause of It, and of the Vituperative Expression Given to It.
- Section III.: Terms of the Accusation,—speeches From the Throne, 16 Th July and 21 St November 1819.
- Section IV.: The Accusation In General Terms—counter-averment.
- Section V.: Plan of This Defence.
- Part II.—: Deference From the General Nature of the Case.
- Section I.: Conditions Necessary to a Man’s Embarking In Such a Design.
- Section VII.: Concurrence In Any Other Extensive Plan of Spoliation Impossible.
- Section VIII.: Concurrence of Any Constituted Authorities Impossible.
- Section IX.: Accomplishment Impossible—design Impossible.
- Section X.: The Talked-of Spunge No Proof of the Design.
- Part III.—: Defence From Experience In the Case of the United States.
- Part IV.: Defence From Particular Experience In the Case of Ireland: Years 1777 Or 1778, to 1783.
- Section I.: Analogy Between This and the Previous Case.
- Section II.: Democratic Ascendency, How Produced.
- Section III.: Fruit of Democratic Ascendency a Golden Age.
- Section IV.: Coincidence of Its Characters With Those of Radicalism.
- Section VI.: Extinction of Democratic Ascendency and Reform—restoration of Monarchico-aristocratical Ascendency, and Its Consequences.
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE LAWS CONCERNING OFFENCES, RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS, AND SERVICES.
In a code of laws, everything turns upon offences, rights, obligations, services. Clear ideas of the meaning of these abstract terms are therefore desirable, and on this account it is necessary to know how these different notions are formed, and what are their reciprocal relations. To show their mode of generation, is to show their nature.
A period may be easily imagined when men existed without laws, without obligations, without crimes, without rights. What would they then possess? Persons, things, actions; persons and things, the only real beings; actions, which exist only for a fleeting moment, which perish the instant that they are born, but which still leave a numerous posterity.
Among these actions, some will produce great evils, and the experience of these evils will give birth to the first moral and legislative ideas. The strongest will desire to stop the course of these mischievous actions—they will call them crimes. This declaration of will, when clothed with an exterior sign, will receive the title of law.
Hence, to declare by a law that a certain act is prohibited, is to erect such act into a crime. To assure to individuals the possession of a certain good, is to confer a right upon them. To direct men to abstain from all acts which may disturb the enjoyment of certain others, is to impose an obligation on them. To make them liable to contribute by a certain act to the enjoyment of their fellows, is to subject them to a service. The ideas of law, offence, right, obligation, service, are therefore ideas which are born together, which exist together, and which are inseparably connected.
These objects are so simultaneous that each of these words may be substituted the one for the other. The law directs me to support you—it imposes upon me the obligation of supporting you—it grants you the right of being supported by me—it converts into an offence the negative act by which I omit to support you—it obliges me to render you the service of supporting you. The law prohibits me from killing you—it imposes upon me the obligation not to kill you—it grants you the right not to be killed by me—it converts into an offence the positive act of killing you—it requires of me the negative service of abstaining from killing you.
It is only by creating offences (that is to say, by erecting certain actions into offences) that the law confers rights. If it confer a right, it is by giving the quality of offences to the different actions by which the enjoyment of this right might be interrupted or opposed. The division of rights ought therefore to correspond with the division of offences.
Offences, inasmuch as they concern a determinate individual, may be distributed into four classes, according to the four points in which he may be injured:—Offences against the person—offences against honour—offences against property—offences against condition. In the same manner, rights may be distributed into four classes:—Rights of security for the person—rights of security for honour—rights of security for property—rights of security for condition.
The distinction between rights and offences is therefore strictly verbal—there is no difference in the ideas. It is not possible to form the idea of a right, without forming the idea of an offence.
I imagine to myself the legislator contemplating human actions according to the best of his judgment: he prohibits some, he directs others: there are others which he equally abstains from commanding or prohibiting. By the prohibition of the first, he creates positive offences: by the injunction of the second, he creates negative offences. But to create a positive offence, is to create an obligation not to act—to create a negative offence is to create an obligation to act. To create a positive offence, is to create a negative service (the service which consists in abstaining from a hurtful action.) To create a negative offence is to create a positive service (the service which consists in the performance of a useful action.) To create offences, is therefore to create obligations or forced services: to create obligations or forced services, is therefore to confer rights.
With reference to actions, with respect to which the legislator neither pronounces a prohibition nor an injunction, he neither creates an offence, an obligation, nor a forced service. Still he creates a certain right, or leaves you a power you already possessed, that of acting or not acting as you like. If, with respect to these same actions, there had previously existed an injunction or a prohibition, and this injunction or prohibition had been revoked, it might be said without difficulty that the right which was restored to you, the law conferred or restored it. The only difference is, that in the one case you hold the right through the activity of the law; in the other case, you hold it through its inactivity. In the actual state, it appears as if you owed it to the law alone, whilst beforehand you appeared to be indebted partly to the law and partly to nature.
You owe it to nature, inasmuch as it is the exercise of a natural faculty;—you owe it to the law, inasmuch as it might extend the same prohibition to this as well as to other actions.
With respect to those actions which the law refrains from directing or prohibiting, it bestows a positive right,—the right of performing or not performing them without molestation from any one in the use of your liberty.
I may stand or sit down—I may go in or go out—I may eat or not eat, &c.: the law says nothing upon the matter. Still the right which I exercise in this respect I derive from the law, because it is the law which erects into an offence every species of violence by which any one may seek to prevent me from doing what I like.
This, then, is the connexion between these legal entities: they are only the law considered under different aspects; they exist as long as it exists; they are born and they die with it. There is nothing more simple, and mathematical propositions are not more certain. This is all that is necessary for obtaining clear ideas of the laws, and yet nothing of this is found in any book of jurisprudence; the contrary is, however, everywhere found. There have been so many errors of this kind, that it may be hoped that the sources of error are exhausted.
The words rights and obligations, have raised those thick vapours which have intercepted the light: their origin has been unknown; they have been lost in abstractions. These words have been the foundations of reasoning, as if they had been eternal entities which did not derive their birth from the law, but which, on the contrary, had given birth to it. They have never been considered as productions of the will of the legislator, but as the productions of a chimerical law—a law of nations—a law of nature.
I shall only add another word upon the importance of clear ideas respecting the origin of rights and obligations. They are the children of the law; they ought never, therefore, to be set in opposition to one another: they are the children of the law; they should, like the law itself, be subordinate to general utility.
The fundamental idea, the idea which serves to explain all the others, is that of an offence. It possesses clearness by itself; it presents an image; it addresses itself to the senses, it is intelligible to the most limited mind. An offence is an act from which evil results. To do a positive act, is to put one’s self in motion; to do a negative act, is to remain still. Now, a body in motion, or a body at rest, presents an image; an individual wounded, an individual suffering, in consequence of any action, presents an equally familiar image. It is not the same with the fictitious entities called rights and obligations. They cannot be depicted under any form; they may, however, be connected with sensible images, but they then cease to be abstractions; they are united to real things, as in the expressions, the right to do a certain act—the obligation to perform it or not to perform it. The more nearly such expressions convey the idea of an offence, the more easily are they understood.