Similarly, public officials can and should be partial to people in the jurisdiction in which they work. Act utilitarianism is the most familiar form of direct utilitarianism applied to action, whereas the most common indirect utilitarian theory of duty is rule utilitarianism.
But what about cases in which two actions produce different amounts of pleasure?
The state cannot claim with this logic rights that an individual does not possess. Thus Mill is not to blame for failing to make explicit which of the two approaches he advocates. Moral rights are concerned with the basic conditions of a good life.
If our happiness should reflect the sort of beings we are, Mill can argue that higher activities that exercise these deliberative capacities form the principal or most important ingredient in human happiness.
This, being, according to the utilitarian opinion, the end of human action, is necessarily also the standard of morality; which may accordingly be defined, the rules and precepts for human conduct, by the observance of which an existence such as has been described might be, to the greatest extent possible, secured to all mankind; and not to them only, but, so far as the nature of things admits, to the whole sentient creation.
Mill, "Jurisprudence", p.
We have, then, certain meta-legal rights that can be the deontological authority of law.