Natural law is defined as “the permanent underlying basis of all law. The philosophers of ancient Greece, where the idea of natural law originated, consisted that there was a kind of perfect justice given to man by nature and that man’s laws should conform to this as closely as possible. Theories of natural law have been an important part of jurisprudence throughout legal history. Natural law is distinguished from positive law, which is the body of law imposed by the state. Natural law is both anterior and superior to positive law.” Natural law holds that morality and the law are connected and is not what is enacted in statute.
If civil law is a type of moral law, and justice is a moral virtue, then it is impossible to execute justice in civil affairs without reference to moral law. Without morality, law does not exist because it does not contain real justice. Real justice is following natural and moral law in how a person punishes and acts. Natural law is instilled into the hearts of men by God and provides a means of deciphering right from wrong. It can be “discovered by reason alone and applies to all people, while divine law can be discovered only through God 's special revelation and applies only to those to whom it is revealed and who God specifically indicates are to be bound.”12 Though one may not believe in divine or moral law, natural law can still be used to determine justice from injustice.
Stoicism gave the entire traditional definition of natural law. The Stoics contended that the universe is represented by reason, or rational standard; they further contended that all people have reason inside them and in this manner they can know and comply with its law. Since people have a free will, they won 't really comply with the law; but even if they act as per their reason, they will be "following nature". Christian thinkers promptly adapted Stoic natural law theory, recognizing natural law with the law of God. For Thomas Aquinas, normal law is that part of the endless law of God ("the reason of divine intelligence") which is comprehensible by people by means of their forces of reason.
This does not mean, however, that it is a state of license: one is not free to do anything at all one pleases, or even anything that one judges to be in one’s interest. The State of Nature, although a state wherein there is no civil authority or government to punish people for transgressions against laws, is not a state without morality. To Locke, persons are assumed to be equal to one another in such a state, and therefore equally capable of discovering and being bound by the Law of Nature. The Law of Nature, which is on Locke’s view the basis of all morality, and given to us by God, commands that we not harm others with regards to their life, health, liberty, or possessions. This is because we all belong equally to God, and because we cannot take away that which is rightfully His, we are prohibited from harming one another.
St. Thomas argues that the will of God is extended to the creatures. St. Thomas says: God wills not only Himself, but other things apart from Himself…For natural things have a natural inclination not only towards their own proper good, to acquire it if not possessed, and, if possessed, to rest therein; but also to spread abroad their own good amongst others, so far as possible. Hence we say that every agent, in so far as it is perfect and in act, produces its
Commonly, natural law is associated with the "laws of nature", indicating the order which naturally directs the changes and alterations of the material and physical universe. Even though the concept of "laws of nature" is quite near, its complete ethical purpose is a course for God 's rule in every essence of human nature. In accordance with St. Thomas definition, the natural law is "nothing else that the rational creature’s participation in the Eternal Law" ("SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: The Various Kinds Of Law (Prima Secundae Partis, Q. 91)"). However, it is vital to mention that the natural law is not "necessary" to follow by men.
The goal of deontology is to find a categorical, unconditional imperative that will enable the creation of universal laws of nature, legislated by rational and free beings. The categorical imperative is formal, while the substance is decided by the person. The idea is that by a process of reasoning, one can check his intuitions and desires and see if they can become a general rule for moral behavior. Kant bases his theory on three main concepts: the good will, the duty and the law. The moral worth of an action is measured in its intention.
Each question has a different answer from both perspectives of law (Natural law and Legal Positivism) that will be discussed throughout this essay. Before we can understand the judges? roles with regard to Positivistic and Naturalistic views, we have to understand their ideas of law itself. In broad terms, Natural Law theory states that laws are discovered by moral reasoning and rationale. On the other hand Legal Positivism theory states that law is made by humans and has nothing to do with morality or justice.
His identification of commands as the hallmark of law leads Austin to a far more restrictive conception of law than is adopted by Bentham who is concerned to arrive at the conception of a single, complete law which sufficiently expresses the legislative will. COMMANDS The central feature of Austin’s map of the provided of jurisprudence is the notion of law as a command of the sovereign. Anything that is not a command is not law. Only general commands count as law. And only commands emanating from the sovereign are ‘positive laws’.
authority, or state, is in the business of ensuring compliance with its dictates by means of the official use of coercive power. A state is morally legitimate only if it is justified in using coercion as a means of ensuring compliance with its laws. But, Dworkin insists, the use of such coercion is justified only if there is a general moral obligation to obey the law. Thus any argument for the legitimacy of the state must demonstrate the existence of a general obligation to obey the law. Dworkin argues that there are at least possible legitimate states, because there are attainable circumstances under which such an obligation would obtain.