What is natural law?

  • (noun): A rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society.
    Synonyms: law

Natural Law

Natural law, or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis), is a system of law that is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature—both social and personal—and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law (meaning "man-made law", not "good law"; cf. posit) of a given political community, society, or nation-state, and thus serves as a standard by which to criticize said positive law. According to natural law theory, which holds that morality is a function of human nature and reason can discover valid moral principles by looking at the nature of humanity in society, the content of positive law cannot be known without some reference to natural law. Used in this way, natural law can be invoked to criticize decisions about the statutes, but less so to criticize the law itself. Some use natural law synonymously with natural justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale)

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Some articles on natural law:

Creativity (religion) - Beliefs - Natural Law
... Creators adhere to a naturalist philosophy and believe that Nature is governed by laws which are immutable, that is, they are "unchanging, unbending and unyielding." They theorize that one of the inexorable ... Whether we look at the species of mice or rabbits or cats in their natural habitat, they claim, we find that they have been segregated into dozens of different species, each following its own pattern for its survival ... of protection, of mating, of propagation." Each has its natural enemies ...
Russian Law - Hierarchy - Other Sources - Legal Consciousness, Natural Law, Good Faith and General Principles
... Judges don’t rely on natural law, but rather legal positivism combined with general principles of law ... Other principles are equity and fairness, general principles of law, etc ...
Martens Clause
... preamble to the 1899 Hague Convention II – Laws and Customs of War on Land ... Until a more complete code of the laws of war is issued, the High Contracting Parties think it right to declare that in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them ... — Convention with respect to the laws of war on land (Hague II), 29 July 1899 ...
Political Naturalism
... Political naturalism is a minor political ideology and legal system which believes that there is a natural law, just and obvious to all, that crosses ideologies, faiths and ... believe that the precision of natural sciences can be applied to social sciences, and hence to practical social activities like politics and law ... It may be seen as a natural law-based version of legalism/constitutionalism (especially of prescriptive constitutionalism, in the way it tries, idealistically, to make a constitution how it should justly be), and it ...
Natural Law - In Contemporary Jurisprudence
... This law-related article does not cite its references or sources ... by including appropriate citations, which can be found through legal research In jurisprudence, natural law can refer to the several doctrines That just laws are immanent in nature that is, they can be "discov ... as opposed to design in finding just laws ...

Famous quotes containing the words law and/or natural:

    In a democracy—even if it is a so-called democracy like our white-élitist one—the greatest veneration one can show the rule of law is to keep a watch on it, and to reserve the right to judge unjust laws and the subversion of the function of the law by the power of the state. That vigilance is the most important proof of respect for the law.
    Nadine Gordimer (b. 1923)

    Whose loves
    Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)