What are the differences between natural rights and legal rights?
Natural Rights are the rights which are not created by laws, customs, beliefs of any culture or society or by any particular government and, therefore, are universal. Every single person on this earth has rights which the government cannot deny. The right to express their thoughts, freedom, or liberty, right to food, clothing, and shelter are called as natural rights.
Natural Rights came from the ancient and medieval doctrines or principles of Natural Law. The belief was that people should lead an organized life and live according to the rules created by the society and other basics created by nature or by God. In the 17th Century, the idea of individualism came into the picture and the doctrines of natural law were modified as to people are natural beings and they cannot be eliminated by anyone in the society. More about Natural Law or Natural Rights are found in the books of John Locke. There are natural rights created for animals and children by the new laws.
Legal Rights is in contrast to the Natural Rights. The rights are created under the rules of the laws, customs, or any action by the government. Legal rights are also known as civil rights and they are controlled and regulated by the government bodies such as the courts to take measures in civil and criminal matters. These rights were changed over a period of time and removed the inequality between men and women, and by giving women the right to speak, the right of freedom and other rights. Legal rights protect the Natural Rights through laws and punish the persons accordingly when laws of the society are broken or if natural rights have been denied.