Difference between Right and Power

Read this article to find out the difference between Right and Power.


  • Right and duty are correlatives.
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  • A legal right is an interest recognized and protected by the rules of legal justice.
  • Example: “A” purchased house from “B” and got it registered. ‘A” has a right to enjoy it. “B” has no right to interfere with “A”’s possession and enjoyment. Not only “B”, entire world has no right to interfere.
  • Salmond defines rights in two senses – one in strict sense and another in wider sense.
  • Rights are either legal or moral. Salmond recognizes Power as a different species of the genus (legal right).
  • The correlative of right is duty.


  • Power has no duty.
  • Power shows a person’s ability to do something.
  • Example: “A” has some own acquired property. He writes a will. That means he has the “power” to make a will with his own ability, will and pleasure. There is no duty casted upon him to write the will. “A” has also the power to amend, change, and cancel the will as many times as he wants, until his death. The last will only comes into force. This is the “power” of “B”.
  • Salmond defines “power”: “A power may be defines as ability conferred upon a person by the law to alter, by his own will directed to that end, the rights, duties, liabilities or other legal relations, either of himself or of other persons”.
  • Powers are either public or private. Public powers are those which are vested in a person as an agent or instrument of the functions of the state. They comprise various forms of legislative, judicial and executive authority. Private Powers are those which are vested in persons to be exercised for their own purposes and not as agents of the state. Examples of private powers are will, gift, mortgage, lease, sale, etc. The public powers are called as “authority”. The private powers are called as “capacity”.
  • The correlative of power is “liability”.
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