1. He must be a living human being, i.e., (a) he must be no monster and (b) he must be born alive to be ranked as a person in law.
The exception to this rule is that of a child en ventre sa mere”. Unborn persons possess a legal, personality. A child in its mother’s womb, who is regarded by legal fiction as already born, has the capacity to acquire certain rights and inherit property, but the rights are contingent on his being born alive. He is counted as a person living for purposes of partition.
Such a child can claim damages for injury sustained while in its mother’s womb. A pregnant woman condemned to death is respite as of right till the delivery of the child.
A child not yet conceived cannot be deemed to be a person although provision may be made for such beings contingently on coming into existence by vesting property in trustees for them.
2. The second characteristic is that he must be regarded by the State as a person, or as Professor Keeton observes, “he must possess sufficient ‘status’ to enable him to possess rights and duties.”
He must not be a slave in the absolute control of his master, a caput lupine, or otherwise civilly dead. There are, according to Holland, different grades of personality, and these depend upon the freedom, the maturity, sex, the sanity, the citizenship and so forth of the individual.