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In an earlier article' an attempt was made to criticize the narrowness of view which has limited the concept of "wrongs" and "cause of action” to committed delicts, and the concept of the judicial process, to their redress. This superficial view of legal relations and of the judicial function has obscured realization of the fact that harm is done and rights are impaired or jeopardized by mere dispute or challenge before and without any physical attack. The mere existence of an instrument, the denial of a right, the assertion of an unfounded claim, the existence of conflicting claims to the same property or right, the uncertainty and insecurity occasioned by new events-these phenomena constitute the operative facts, the cause for action which creates the plaintiff's "right of action." The term "cause of action" has become so involved in description and definition that it may be profitable to adopt instead the continental criterion of the conditions under which judicial relief may be invoked, namely, whether the petitioner has a "legal interest" in such judicial protection-that is to say, whether his rights have been denied, challenged, or jeopardized by person or event in such way as to justify him in invoking judicial protection for their vindication.
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Chancery, status quo, human rights
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