What is due process of law?

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Due process of law is a type of guarantee that a person’s legal rights are honored and expected as indicated or stipulated in a given law or rule. It also denotes fair treatment to any person based on what a particular law dictates. In many countries around the world, the concept of due process or legal rights is part of the justice and legal system. Some countries have specific guidelines regarding the implementation of due process in any legal concern. Others meanwhile may not have specifications on this legal matter but still acknowledges the relevance of due process concerning all people or citizens.

In the case of criminal proceedings for example, due process of the law may literally refer to the actual guidelines and procedures that are to be imposed upon people who are accused of certain crimes. Before any judgment is made for example, accused persons are typically allowed to defend their case as part of the so-called “due process”. With this kind of guarantee, all people are given their right to seek lawyers and defend their cases and be heard in an appropriate court for example. All these legal and procedural concerns are considered legal rights of the accused persons or defendants and it is only through these legal procedures wherein due process of the law can actually be imposed or implemented.

There are also cases wherein due process of the law is considered as substantive rather than procedural. In this concern, due process of the law is given when a certain activity is respected and deemed legal instead of having restrictions or barriers. When such activity is considered protected under the laws of the land, this particular activity or concern must not be hampered in any legal way. Otherwise, substantive due process is not given and this is considered unfair to those involved.