Subjective right

The subjective right constitutes the powers and faculties that citizens have to satisfy their own interests in accordance with their position as holders of the rights granted by the laws and normative codes.

Subjective right

In other words, subjective right refers to the powers that arise for citizens to exercise the rights granted by law.

The laws and normative codes constitute the objective right, that is, the set of norms and rules that regulate everyday life.

Therefore, the objective law establishes the rights and obligations and the limits to develop it in a written code, be it a law, decree or constitution. And the subjective right is the faculty that derives from that right or obligation that contains the legal norms.


To better understand what it means, we see some examples:

  • The property right, that is, the right to a thing, is a subjective right. The owner of this right may act to satisfy their interests through this property right, selling it, modifying it, etc. But the limitations to this right are found within a legislative code that is objective right.
  • Therefore, this subjective right (property right) is contained in an objective right, the Civil Code.
  • The right to resources are subjective rights. A person may resort to those administrative or judicial decisions as long as it is provided for in a norm, that is, in objective law, the possibility of appeal.
  • Therefore, this subjective right, the right to appeal, is contained in an objective right, the procedural codes.


The main features are:

  • This right does not refer to legal norms, but rather they are powers derived from the norm itself.
  • It does not establish obligations to citizens, this right is the possibility that the citizen has to exercise the right attributed to him in a norm. It is not imperative.
  • When the citizen exercises a subjective right, he must respect the limits established by the subjective rights of third parties.
  • It is born of objective law.
  • This right may represent the power of the citizen to force another person to fulfill an obligation.
  • The main objective of this right is to satisfy or govern the own interests of the holder of this right.
  • They can be of a public or private nature.
  • The subjective right is always based on a legal norm.
  • The holder of this right can be a natural person or a legal person.
  • The object of this right are the things on which the subjective right falls, it does not matter whether the thing is material (property rights) or immaterial (intellectual property).


The main classification that is made is the following:

  • Real rights: Real rights consist of a power that a person has, whether legal or physical, over a thing and against third parties, which allows no one to use and enjoy the thing over which they have this legal power. The owner of a real right has a power over one thing.
  • Personal rights: The holder of a personal right has the power to require another person to behave (give, do or not do).

Objective law versus subjective law

The law is made up of objective and subjective law. These concepts are not opposed, but complement each other to create the legal system of a State. There is no possibility that there is an objective right that does not grant rights, nor a subjective one that does not depend on a regulation. They need each other.

Subjective Law Image