Coverage of this Article
- The law of nature, divine law, or the law that exists in all of nature is how the natural school of law is typically understood.
2. Types of Natural Law School
- The concept of natural law was formed and its fundamental components were established by Greek philosophers.
a -Ancient Theories
b- Medieval Theories
c- Renaissance Theories
d- Modern Theories
3. Natural law ideas' resurgence
- Natural law ideas saw a resurgence around the close of the 19th century.
- Natural law has undergone some evolution over the years, according to a thorough examination of its doctrines.
The law of nature, divine law, or the law that exists in all of nature is how the natural school of law is typically understood. Though it was made by man, it is discovered via each person's unique personality. It has been assigned various meanings at various times. Religion has a significant influence on it. The fundamental tenet of this philosophy is that human law can be judged for its applicability in light of a higher moral rule. There is a notion that certain moral laws cannot be violated without retaining their moral or legal status. Legislation is not law if it is immoral. In this institution, there is a crucial link between morality and the law.
Types of Natural law School
- Ancient Theories
Greece's ancient theories
The concept of natural law was formed and its fundamental components were established by Greek philosophers. There was a lot of political unrest in Greece at the time, and many people believed that laws were only made to benefit the powerful. However, some jurists began to view this as an opportunity to create new, universal rules that would combat and restrain tyranny and arbitrary rule of law.
Natural law according to Socrates
Socrates held that there is natural law just as there is natural physical law. According to Socrates' conception of natural law, man has his own insight that enables him to determine whether things are good or bad. It is this knowledge, in his view, that enables a man to instill moral ideals in himself. Man's insight is the only method to determine the foundation of law, in his opinion. As one of the main demands at the time, Socrates sought to guarantee peace and stability in the area through his theories.
Natural Law according to Aristotle
In contrast to Socrates, Aristotle separates existence into two parts: first, he claims that man is a creation that was created by God, and second, he possesses the quality of reason by which he can form his own will. It is for this reason that the concept of natural justice can be understood. Aristotle, who is regarded as the founder of the natural law school, provided this theory with a fairly solid foundation so that it might grow naturally.
Natural Law according to the Stoics
Aristotle's idea served as inspiration for the Stoics, who built their own theory of natural law on it while making significant modifications to make it more moral. He believes that reason governs the universe. Since man's reason is a component of this world as well, when he lives in accordance with reason, he is acting naturally or in accordance with nature. According to the Stoics, the law of nature is binding on everyone, and positive law must follow it. Therefore, one of man's obligations is to respect it.
Theory of the Stoics' influence
During the republican era, the Stoic idea had a significant impact on the legal profession, leading many of them to begin giving natural law more consideration. Romans were able to change their rigid lives into cosmopolitan ones with the aid of natural law. Natural law contributed to the evolution of Roman law by allowing the Roman courts to occasionally apply it when handling disputes involving foreign parties.
- Medieval Theories
In contrast to the traditional understanding of natural law, Catholic philosophers and theologians offered a notion of natural law that was more logical and systematic. According to Thomas Aquinas, law is the promulgation of reason made by the person responsible for the community's welfare. He broke the law down into four phases.
- Rule of God
- Normative law
- divine law
- societal laws
That portion of natural law is manifested in natural reason. Humans use this to control their relationships and business concerns. Aquinas held that positive law must follow natural law and is only legitimate to the extent that it is in harmony with natural law.
Advantages of the Aquinas theory
Thomas Aquinas created a remarkably flexible and logical philosophy of natural law by skillfully fusing Aristotle's theory with Christian faith. He argued that the church should have supremacy over the state because even the sovereign has some authority. He defended social stability vehemently, sanctified social and political institutions, and equated natural law with reason. Catholic current jurists have expanded on Aquinas' theory while modifying it to fit the needs and conditions of the times.
- Renaissance Theories
All areas of knowledge underwent significant change throughout this time period, which was also characterised by the introduction of novel concepts, new fields of study, and scientific discoveries that upended long-held beliefs. Second, new classes that demanded greater state protection emerged as a result of advancements in the area of business. It gave rise to nationalism as a notion. Together, these elements overthrew the church's hegemony. New explanations for the state's sovereignty began to emerge. The basis for all of these theories was the reason. These days' natural law theories share certain traits with them. This theory is predicated on the idea that society is built on a social contract.
The social contract hypothesis assumes a natural state, which has been defined by numerous thinkers. Simply put, the condition that exists before a contract has been entered into is known as the state of nature. Philosophers were crucial to understanding how natural law developed during the Renaissance, whether it be with multiple parties or just one person.
The obligation of an individual, in Rousseau's view, is to submit to the general will because doing so satisfies his own will. In short, Rousseau supported the interests of the community rather than those of the individual. His natural law theory supported men's equality and freedom. Government and laws must be in accordance with the general will, and if they are unable to do so, they may be toppled.
- Modern Theories
Natural law ideas mirrored the significant economic and political developments that had occurred in Europe more or less accurately in the 19th century, which saw the fall of natural law. The spirit of eighteenth-century thought was reason or rationalism. New developments and changes posed issues that required political and practical responses. Individualism gave way to a collectivistic mindset, and contemporary sciences and political philosophies began to preach that there are no unalterable, absolute truths. The social contract theory was widely discredited by historians who claimed it was a hoax. All of these things dealt the natural law a severe hit.
Natural law ideas' resurgence
Natural law ideas saw a resurgence around the close of the 19th century, primarily for the reasons listed below:
- It developed as a response to legal theories that overemphasized the significance of positive law.
- It was understood that abstract thought was not entirely useless.
- Positivist theories were unable to address the issues brought on by the altered social circumstances.
Fascist ideology also contributed to the resurgence of natural law theories since at that time, during the two world wars, there had been extensive property and human life damage, and natural law concepts had been used to try to bring about peace.
Natural law has undergone some evolution over the years, according to a thorough examination of its doctrines. Almost every ideology, whether absolutism or individualism, has used it to justify it. Natural law has tremendously affected the creation of positive law and has also served as inspiration for numerous revolutions. The goals of law must be achieved for a study of law to be complete, and this is what Natural Law theories are centred on. Therefore, it may be claimed that the legal systems of practically all nations incorporate natural law ideas.
The fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, such as the right to life and the right to equality, are all based on the precepts of natural law. In addition, the concept of natural justice is also based on the precepts of natural law. In conclusion, it can be concluded that the natural school of law has significantly influenced Indian law as well as the legal systems around the world.