The Distinction Between Natural Law And Legal Positivism Essay

1747 WordsApr 1, 20157 Pages
In this assignment I shall critically deliberate, scrutinize and define the distinction between natural law and legal positivism. I will make distinctions regarding advantages and disadvantages of the definitions of the theories of natural law and legal positivism. By focussing on slavery as an example I will be looking at various theorists and their theories thereby attempting to make sense and find clarity in this regard. Furthermore to understand the aspects of natural law and legal positivism, one has to understand the theories of Cicero, Thomas Aquinas among others in regards to natural law and H.L.A. Hart, Jeremy Bentham, and John Austin for positivism. In addition one has to acknowledge the views and theories of modern theorists in contrast to the more traditional standpoints. The definition of natural law according to Merriam-Webster (merriam-webster.com 2015) is that ‘a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law.’ William Einwechter (1999) labels four claims to outline the impact of natural law and also how it applies to society. First is that, ‘there are unchanging principles of law that exist in ‘nature’ that define for man what is right, just and good and which ought to govern his actions’. Second is that ‘principles of law are accessible to all men and are discovered by the right or reason.’ The third aspect is that ‘principles of law apply to all men at all
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