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(Russian, sub”ektivnoe pravo), a specific right of a natural or juridical person; that is, the capacity, affirmed by law, to act in a certain manner and to require certain actions (or restraint from actions) on the part of other persons. Thus, a property owner may own, use, and dispose of his property and require that other persons refrain from infringement on his right. When a person’s legal right has been violated, that person has recourse to the coercive power of the state for the realization and protection of his right—for example, he has recourse to the courts.
As to the mode of protection, absolute and conditional rights may be distinguished. The possessor of an absolute legal right may require certain specific actions (or restraint from actions) on the part of an indeterminately broad group of persons. Thus, an author has the right to protect his work’s integrity; he may prohibit any person from making additions, deletions, or changes and may require the performance of actions necessary to the restoration of the right violated. The possessor of a conditional legal right may make claims only of a specific person or group of persons—for example, the creditor has the right to make claims of the debtor.