• Positive Law v. Natural Law [Introduction to Common Law]
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    Positive Law v. Natural Law [Introduction to Common Law]

    One of the things that one deals with in positive law is the question of whether or not it’s a force for good or a force for evil. When the positive law is engaged in setting out formalities to allow voluntary transactions to take place, it works for the good. Uh, but the old maxim which says that, “Whatever is pleasing unto the prince has the force of law” carries with it the real danger that tyrannical rulers will essentially announce that natural law principles need not be followed, and that the state can impose upon individuals whatever rules that it wants. So, to take the most ancient example slavery…

  • Does Natural Law Matter? [Introduction to Common Law] [No. 86]
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    Does Natural Law Matter? [Introduction to Common Law] [No. 86]

    One of the common views today is that all the principles of natural law are largely irrelevant to legal discourse. Uh, this is a radical shift from the views of law that were taken for thousands of years, and which natural law was thought to be the foundation. What one means by natural law is that there is certain kinds of features of the world which are so common, and so powerful, that any legal system that tries to put things together in ignorance of those things will always fail. Natural law has been defined from the beginning of time as involving the following three principles. One is this a…

  • The higher law and the rights of man in a revolutionary society (1973) | ARCHIVES
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    The higher law and the rights of man in a revolutionary society (1973) | ARCHIVES

    Announcer: The American Enterprise Institute presents the distinguished lecture series on the Bicentennial of the United States. Our host for this thought-provoking series is Vermont Royster, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist with “The Wall Street Journal,” and Professor of journalism and public affairs at the University of North Carolina. Vermont C. Royster: I’m Vermont Royster. As part of America’s 200th anniversary in 1976, the American Enterprise Institute is presenting a series of lectures by American scholars who have become distinguished in their fields of academic endeavor. We’re about to hear Professor Paul Kauper of the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor. Professor Kauper delivers his lecture from Boston’s Old North…