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What Is Due Process?

The concept of due process was derived from the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which states that no one shall be deprived of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” It is an established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of every citizen. Such course is enacted to insure that the government treats its people justly and restrains from abusing its power by acting against its citizens in an oppressive or capricious manner.

Due process is referred to as procedural due process when it pertains to the course of formal proceedings carried out regularly, impartially, and in accordance with a set of established rules and principles. It may also be referred to as substantive due process, the requirement that laws and regulations must be related to a legitimate government interest (as crime prevention) and may not contain provisions that result in the unfair or arbitrary treatment of an individual.

In its simplest sense, due process prohibits the government from taking any action against an individual that would result in a loss of liberty or property.

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