Rights or liberties guaranteed to all individuals by law, custom, judicial interpretation, etc. without governmental interference or restraint. Common civil liberties are freedom of speech, association, religion, conscience, and movement, and the right to a fair trial, and are essential to the appropriate operation of liberal democratic societies. They are natural rights retained by the people. In practice, such liberties are often constitutionally guaranteed in a bill of rights, as in the United States, or form part of the ordinary law, as in the United Kingdom.
See also: civil rights, a term for rights guaranteed by the state to its citizens, usually used to indicate the rights of groups, rather than individuals.