2. Early declarations of rights.

The United States Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen 1789 are among the earliest documents resembling a modern Bill or Charter of rights, both providing that the governments of their respective societies must govern in a way that respects the natural right to property and fundamental liberties, such as freedom of expression and fair trial1. The theory that legitimate authority was based on a 'social contract' between state and citizens, and acceptance of the fundamental importance of liberties such as freedom of speech, underpinned this new conception of legitimate government,