No corresponding duties are imposed on other persons, yet the court enforces them if others prevent the exercise of the powers by me. I have the power to make a will with no corresponding duty imposed on others.
Public or Private Powers:
Powers may be public or private. The former are those vested in a person or as an agent or instrument of the functions of the Stale, and comprise legislation, judicial or executive. The latter are vested in individuals and are lo be exercised for their own purposes, and not as agents of the Slate.
Power and Right:
Power differs from right in the sense that the former enables a person to determine by his act the legal relations of himself or of others. There is no correlative duty on any other and in this sense it differs from rights for every right must be a right against some person or persons upon whom a correlative duty is imposed.
Power and Liberty:
A power is not strictly identical with the term “liberty”. Liberty is that which I may do innocently, a power is that which I can do effectively. I use my liberties with the acquiescence of the law to make it the instrument of my will.
Power and Subjection:
The correlative of a power is subjection, which means that the power is vested in someone else, as against the person in subjection. To cite an illustration, there is the subjection of a tenant to have his lease determined by re-entry for breach of an express covenant.
A legal right is any interest which is protected by the State by a rule of justice. Rights and duties are correlative. Every right involves a corresponding burden. These burdens may be duties, disabilities or liabilities.
A duty is imposed in respect of a right. In other words, it is the absence of liberty. Salmond defines duty as an obligatory act, i.e., it is an act the opposite of which would be wrong. Duties may be legal, the opposite of which would be a legal wrong or moral, the opposite of which would be a moral or natural wrong.
A disability is the absence of power.
Immunity is an exemption from having a given legal relation changed by another. It is that which others cannot do in respect of me. The right of a peer to be tried by his peers is immunity from the power of the ordinary criminal court. It is neither a right in the strict sense, or a liberty, or a power. The correlative of immunity is disability.
A” liability is the presence either of liberty of power vested in another person against the person liable. Liability, in other words, means responsibility.
Liability may be either civil or criminal. The former corresponds to a right of action; the latter corresponds to a right of prosecution.