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Déclaration de Virginie

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La Déclaration des droits de l'État de Virginie "The Virginia Declaration of Rights" est l'une des premières déclarations des droits de l'homme, du droit inaliénable et de la séparation des pouvoirs rédigée par George Mason. Elle fut adoptée par la Convention de Virginie le 12 juin 1776 et incluse dans la Constitution de Virginie.

Elle va considérablement influencer les constituants français qui quelques décennies plus tard vont élaborer la "Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen" de 1789 .

Lorsque les colons s’établissent dans le Nouveau Monde, ils vont établir leurs colonies sur la base d’un véritable « contrat social ». Ce seront des sortes de pactes d’établissement qui organise la colonie et reconnait la liberté religieuse.

Ces pactes vont avoir une telle élaboration qu'ils se rapprocheront de constitutions. Cependant, les colonies n’ont pas la souveraineté qui reste dans les mains du roi d’Angleterre.

Dans la tradition historique américaine, la première constitution reste le « pacte du Mayflower ». Cependant à ce moment-là, la colonie de New Plymouth n’est pas souveraine.

Identification[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  • Source directe de droit (droit positif) : Constitution
  • Auteur : Ce texte est adopté par la convention de l’État de Virginie afin de soutenir l’effort de guerre contre la Grande-Bretagne.

Objet[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  • Les hommes sont égaux entre eux
  • ce sont les droits inaliénables qui sont le droit de jouir de la vie et de la liberté, la propriété et la sureté. C’est l’évocation de droits fondamentaux.
  • les magistrats dépendent du peuple : souveraineté du peuple avec l’idée de contrat social que le gouvernement juste émane du consentement du peuple
  • la communauté à un droit de résistance justifiant le droit des colons de rompre le pacte qui l’uni a son gouvernement. L’idée de résistance émane de Locke, car le gouvernement a pour mission de protéger les droits fondamentaux
  • séparation des pouvoirs
  • droits politiques
  • garantie du droit de propriété
  • garantie pour les inculpés
  • liberté de la presse
  • libre exercice du culte
  • idée d’une armée de milice, c’est la tâche du citoyen de se défendre avec un service militaire uniquement défensif qui va de pair avec une hostilité envers l’armée de métier qui n’a pas les idéaux civiques des miliciens.

Cette déclaration influencera la déclaration française de 1789.

Texte[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Le texte complet de la déclaration de Virginie:

« A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government .

Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Section 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants and at all times amenable to them.

Section 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration. And that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Section 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, nor being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

Section 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the state should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part, of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

Section 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented for the public good.

Section 7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights and ought not to be exercised.

Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

Section 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Section 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.

Section 11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to be held sacred.

Section 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

Section 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Section 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

Section 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other. Written by George Mason, and adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776. »[1]

Annexes[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Références[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  1. George Mason (June 12, 1776). "The Virginia Declaration of Rights". Retrieved June 6, 2013.