Br. Francisco de Vitoria’s 1510 Ideas of Human Rights

1. Men are not born slaves, but freemen.

2. Nobody is superior to the rest by natural right.

3. A child does not exist for the reasons of others, but for himself.

4. It is better to renounce one’s own right than to do violence to the rights of the stranger.

5. Private property is lawful for a man, but nobody is a proprietor who should not share his things at times. In extreme necessity, all things are used in common.

6. The permanently insane have rights.

7. It is licit for those condemned to death to try to escape, because liberty for them is the same as life.

8. If a judge obtains a confession by torture, not preserving right and order, he may not condemn the victim because he cannot do such things as a judge.

9. Nobody may be executed who has not first been tried and condemned.

10. All nations have the right to govern themselves and arrange the political regime that they wish to have, even if it’s not the best one.

11. All the power of a king comes from the people, because they are free from the beginning of Creation.

12. The whole world has a right to make just laws for the convenience of all humanity. (International law.)

13. No war is just, if going to war does more harm than good to the nation, and does nothing useful.

14. No subject aware that a war is unjust may participate in it, even under orders from his prince.

15. No man is just a nameless beast to another man.

Got this from Spanish Wikipedia, which got it from a Dominican pamphlet on Francisco de Vitoria.


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