Thursday, 20 January 2005

The state should serve the people

[T]here is a value which ranks higher than the state. This value is humanity. The state, as is well known, is here to serve the people, not the other way round. If a person serves his or her state such service should go only as far as is necessary for the state to do a good service to all its citizens. Human rights rank above the rights of states. Human liberties constitute a higher value than state sovereignty. In terms of international law, the provisions that protect the unique human being should take precedence over the provisions that protect the state.
Václav Havel, 29 April 1999

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