Eric Heinze (Senior Lecturer in Law, University of London, Queen Mary. He has held fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the French and German governments. He teaches Legal Theory, Constitutional Law, Human Rights and Public International Law. JD Harvard) 2003 “The Logic of Liberal Rights A study in the formal analysis of legal discourse” http://mey.homelinux.org/companions/Eric%20Heinze/The%20Logic%20of%20Liberal%20Rights_%20A%20Study%20in%20%20%28839%29/The%20Logic%20of%20Liberal%20Rights_%20A%20Study%20in%20%20-%20Eric%20Heinze.pdf
Variety of ‘restrictions’
The term ‘restriction’, defined so broadly, embraces any number of familiarconcepts: ‘deprivation’, ‘denial’, ‘encroachment’, ‘incursion’, ‘infringement’, ‘interference’, ‘limitation’, ‘regulation’. Those terms commonly comport differences in meaning or nuance, and are not all interchangeable in standard legal usage. For example, a ‘deprivation’ may be distinguished from a ‘limitation’ or ‘regulation’ in order to denote a full denial of a right (e.g. where private property is wholly appropriated by the state 16 Agents without compensation) as opposed to a partial constraint (e.g. where discrete restrictions are imposed on the use of property which nonetheless remains profitably usable). Similarly, distinctions between acts and omissions can leave the blanket term ‘restriction’ sounding inapposite when applied to an omission: if a state is accused of not doing enough to give effect to a right, we would not colloquially refer to such inaction as a ‘restriction’. Moreover, in a case of extreme abuse, such as extrajudicial killing or torture, it might sound banal to speak merely of a ‘restriction’ on the corresponding right. However, the term ‘restriction’ will be used to include all of those circumstances, in so far as they all comport a purpose or effect of extinguishing or diminishing the right-seeker’s enjoyment of an asserted right. (The only significant distinction which will be drawn will be between that concept of ‘restriction’ and the concept of ‘breach’ or ‘violation’. The terms ‘breach’ or ‘violation’ will be used to denote a judicial determination about the legality of the restriction.6) Such an axiom may seem unwelcome, in so far as it obliterates subtleties which one would have thought to be useful in law. It must be stressed that we are seeking to eliminate that variety of terms not for all purposes, but only for the very narrow purposes of a formal model, for which any distinctions among them are irrelevant.