Natural Law And Human Law

1515 Words Dec 5th, 2015 7 Pages
‘An unjust law cannot be a valid law’
In the light of Natural Law and Positivist theories, assess the accuracy of the above statement.
Intro
Natural law
Natural Law Theory seeks to explain ‘Law’ as a phenomenon which in order to be valid must meet the standards of a ‘higher law’ based on morality.
Natural law is so called because it is believed to exist independently of human will. It is ‘natural’ in the sense that it is not humanly created. Natural law theories are theories about the relation between the moral natural law and positive human law. Natural law theories vary in aims and content but they share one central idea: that there is a kind of higher (non-human) ‘law’, based on morality, against which the moral or legal validity of human law can be measured .
There are two basic types of Natural Law Theory, those where the ‘higher law’ is set by God as revealed in scriptures (Theological) and those where the ‘higher law’ is based on morality discoverable through ‘reason’ (Secular).
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle identified moral behaviour or thinking with justice. ‘The moral man was the just man and the moral state was the just state’. This causes an issue of what suffices a just person and a just state.
Socrates (470-399 BC)
Socrates argued that there were principles of morality which it was possible to discover through reason and man-made Law based on these principles would be the product of correct reasoning.
Plato (428-348 BC)
Developed…
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