“Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government. They receive it with their being from the hand of nature. Individuals exercise it by their single will collections of men by that of their majority for the law of the majority is the natural law of every society of men”.
– Thomas Jefferson
The Natural law is based on moral values and ethics values. Natural law theory maintains that the law should be based on the morality and ethics values. Natural law also known by different name of Law of Nature, Universal Law, Law of God, Divine Law, External Law, Unwritten Law and Moral Law so on and it is dominating the whole structure of law, political and social philosophy of present period. Natural law theory prevails commonly over the whole world in the same way and any positive law (man made law) which is opposing to natural law theory is of no legitimacy. Therefore natural law is not body of definite enacted rules and interpreted laws which is enforced by courts but it is discovered by human through the use of rights reasons. Today, natural law theory has made its existence in all legal systems in the kind of socio- economic justice. In the ancient times, natural law was known as those unwritten principles and rules of law which are superior to any other law in respect which all other laws should be made. These principles were considered as everlasting and unchangeable. In medieval age, natural law was given a religious touch, having a divine origin. In modern classical era, it occupied non- religious character.
The term natural law has been interpreted differently at different times depending on the prevailing legal opinion:
According to Cohen, ―Natural law is not a body of actual enacted or interpreted law enforced by the courts; it is in fact a way of looking at things and a humanistic approach of jurists and judges.
According to Blackstone, ―Natural law being co-existent with mankind and emanating from God himself is superior to all other laws. It is binding over all the countries at all the times and no men made law would be valid if it is contrary to the law of nature.
According to Diaz, ―Natural theory of Law deals with norms which are higher and which are
involved in search of absolute justice. It is touchstone of all activities and the ruled as well as the ruler is bound with it‖. It can be divided into two parts :-
- Natural law is the higher law. If the law is contrary to natural law, it becomes invalid. Law in ancient and medieval period was prevalent in this sense.
- Natural law is an ideal law and natural law has framed its principle without affecting the constitutional law.
- Natural law is the dictate of the reasons.
- According to Diaz, natural law has been used in 5 ways: –
- Natural law as an ideal which directs the development of the law.
- it contains rules of morality, which does not allow permanent separation between law as it (in present) and law as it ought to be (in future)
- It is a way to search absolute law.
- Natural law is derived from reason.
- Natural law is necessary for the legitimacy and existence of any law.
- Hence natural law is basically dealing with the dictates of the reasons and rationality.
From above definitions it is clear that Natural law means those principles which are emanated from some highest sources other than the political sovereign. The exponents Socrates, Plato, Hobbes of natural law claim that there is system of right or justice common to mankind which is independent of positive law. It has been an appeal to complete Justice, authority and rules superior than positive law.
The word natural ‘can be used to signify that some of those criteria or standards of norms which are existence prior to any human choices. On this conception, these prior standards are not the product of either individual or collective choosing or positing so it cannot be repealed. However, they may be violated, defied or ignored. However, Natural law thinking has occupied a pervasive role in the field of ethics, politics and law from the time immemorial. As observed by many jurists it is essentially an assertion of faith in a standard of values. In the words of J. Stone, ―natural law is an assertion of faith rather than a demonstration. Its dialectical weapons are right reason; nature with appendage rational nature, state of nature conformity with nature, sociability and the like, the consensus of all mankind, or of some essential part of mankind, the divine will. However, at some periods natural law‘s appeal was essentially religious or supernatural but in the modern times, it has formed an important weapon in political and legal ideology. Jurists of different ages assigned different meaning to this term natural law. For Stories, it is divine law (jus divindum)- the command of God imposed upon men. For Cicero, natural law is the law of reason, as being established by that reason by which the world is governed and also as being addressed to and perceived by the rational nature of men. For Aristotle and Thomasius it is also the unwritten law (Jus Non-Scriptum) in one sense of the expression as being written not on brazen tablets or on pillars of stone, but solely by the finger of nature in the hearts of men. It is also the universal or common law (jus commune, jest gestium) as being of universal validity, the same in all places and binding on all the peoples and not one thing at one place and another at another place, as are the civil law of the states. Whereas the jurists of modern times natural law consists mainly of the principles of morality.According to Divine Law, the system of the principles is revealed or inspired by the God or some other supreme and supernatural power. In reality, law consists of rules in accordance with reason and nature has formed the basis of a variety of natural law theories ranging from classical times to the present day. The central notion is that there exist objective moral principles which depend on the essential nature of the universe and which can be discovered by natural reason and that ordinary human law is only truly law in so far as it conforms to these principles. These principles of justice and morality constitute the natural law, which is valid of necessity, because the rules for human conduct are logically connected with truth concerning human nature. This connection enables to ascertain the principles of natural law by reason and common sense, and in this the natural law differs from rules of ordinary human law (positive law) which can be found only by reference to legal sources such as Constitutions, codes, statutes and so on. But since law can only be true law if it is obligatory, and since law contrary to the principles of natural law cannot be obligatory, a human law at variance with natural law is not really law at all, but merely an abuse of violation of law. Natural law theory seeks to explain as a phenomenon which is based upon and which ought to approximate to some higher law contained in certain principles of morality. These philosophers regard the universe and human society as being under the governance of some Deity, who has laid down constant principles, which must eternally control all creation. These principles constitute higher law which is universal, that is, common to all societies, immutable, i.e. it cannot be changed through human agency. All human arrangements, including law must conform as far as possible, to these principles. These natural laws are based on value judgements because those judgments emanate from some absolute source and are in accordance with nature and reason. Natural law or natural justice is known by several names as like fundamental justice ‘substantial justice’, fair play action, universal justice, moral justice, divine justice etc. Prof. Dias opines that natural law theory has a long history before Christ (B.C.). Heraclitus of Greece laid the basis of natural law. Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle purporting that the law existed for the purpose of facilitating the pursuit of the good life, by members of the community. Decline of natural law theory started since 18th century. The development of science and technology made the man in a unique position. Gradually, positive law occupied the position of natural law. Natural law in the strict sense and as an explicit theory emerged, with the Stoics. But the evolution of the concept can be traced with fairly definite outlines through Socrates, Plato & Aristotle, with some reverberations in Greek literature. The most influential writers within the traditional approach to Natural Law is undoubtedly St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274). According to Aquinas, positive law is derived from natural law. Natural law dictates what the positive law should be. For example, natural law requires that there should be prohibition of murder. The phrase ―lex iniusta non est lex‖ i.e., an unjust law is not law is often ascribing to Aquinas.
Natural law theory like legal positivism has appeared in a variety of forms and in many guises. One of the most elaborate statements of natural law theory can be found in Aquinas who distinguished four types of law: eternal, divine, natural, and man-made. So, according to Aquinas, eternal law reflected God’s grand design for the whole shebang. Divine law was that set of principles revealed by Scripture, and natural law was eternal law as it applied to human conduct. Man-made law was constructed by human beings to fit and accommodate the requirements of natural law to the needs and contexts of different and changing societies.
Divine theory was one of the earliest theories of the origin of state. By this theory the state is the creation of God, just as God has created human beings on earth, so he has also created the state. This theory was very popular in ancient time. The Greeks attributed a divine origin to the state. It was a Greeks, an association of the sages who gave the law. The divine theory more and more took the form of the divine rights of the king.
Natural law which may be said to have occupied a pervasive role in the realms of ethics, politics, and law, is the oldest part of law and belongs to the remotest past. No other philosophy moulded and shaped American thinking and American institution to such as extent as did the philosophy of natural law in the form given to it in the 17th and 18th centuries. Dominating all the principles of natural law is a notion that law is an essential foundation for life of man in the society and that is based on the needs of man as a reasonable being and not on the arbitrary whim of ruler. There are however, many theories of natural law. They have more often been classified into authoritarian and individualistic, into progressive and conservative, into religious and rationalistic, into absolute and relativist theories.
Jurisprudence gives ample scope for creative and innovative thinking. Because of that thinking which were based on the writer’s attitude imagination as well as their logical skill. There are five schools of law i.e. Historical School, Analytical School (Legal Positivism), Sociological School, Natural Law School, and Realist School. Researcher would discuss two main theories which are as follows –
II. Natural law theory
Natural law is a law which is not a body of actual enacted or interpreted law which is enforced by courts. It is a humanistic way of looking at things. It embodies within itself the high ideals like justice, morality, reason, good conduct, freedom, equality, and liberty etc. it is law which is inherent in the very nature of man as a rational being and does no depend on anything for its validity. It derives its validity from its inherent values. The term natural law has been interpreted differently at different times depending on the prevailing legal thought. In the ancient times, natural law‘ was known as those unwritten principles of law which are higher than in obedience. All other laws should be made according to natural law principles were treated as eternal and unalterable. In medieval age, natural law was given religious touch, having divine origin. In modern classical era, it once again occupied non-religious character. In the present era, natural law is value loaded. It is not absolute but relativistic concept. It is no long permanent in nature but changing and varying. The following are the jurists who contributed in the natural law theory:
The word “positivism” itself derives from the Latin root ―positus‖, which means to posit, postulate, or firmly affix the existence of something. Legal positivism attempts to define law by firmly affixing its meaning to written decisions made by governmental bodies that are endowed with the legal power to regulate particular areas of society and human conduct. According to legal positivists that If a principle, rule, regulation, decision, judgment, or other law is recognized by a duly authorized governmental body or official, then it will qualify as law. Conversely, if a behavioral norm is enunciated by anyone or anything other than a duly authorized governmental body or official, the norm will not qualify as law in the minds of legal positivists, no matter how many people are in the habit of following the norm or how many people take action to legitimize it. Therefore legal positivism means command of sovereign backed by sanction. Legal positivists share the common aim of helping people understand the law as it actually is. The following are the jurists who contributed in the Legal Positivism theory:
- L.A. Hart.
The ancient Jurists may have regarded the law as received from divine sources and based on reasons but in the modren world, where the most laws have a known man made laws.
A discussion on natural law theory shall be presented in the historical order to give an idea of the various ideologies that it tried to establish from time to time and its effect on law. Natural law theories may be broadly divided into four classes:-
1) Ancient period.
2) Medieval period.
3) Period of renaissance.
4) Modern period.
Ancient Period of Natural Law:
The concept of natural law theory was developed by Greek philosophers around 4th century BC and laid down the essential features. The Greeks philosopher– Socrates, Plato and Aristotle emphasized the distinction by nature and law, customs or convention. That what the law commanded varied from place to place, but what was by nature‘ should be the same everywhere. Aristotle‘s considered by many of jurists to be the father of natural law.Thus, like other sciences of law have its roots in Greek philosophy. The Greek term Nomos‘ used for Law‘ was used like other word Dharma‘ in Hindu jurisprudence which meant many a thing, namely, tradition, custom, usage, religion, ethics, morality, nature and law as means of social control. Therefore the Law‘ i.e. Nomos‘ was regarded by the Greek as an instrument of social control independent of human will and of universal application. Divine theory was one of the earliest theories of the origin of state. By this theory the state is the creation of God, just as God has created human beings on earth, so he has also created the state. This theory was very popular in ancient time. The Greeks attributed a divine origin to the state. It was a Greeks, an association of the sages who gave the law. The divine theory more and more took the form of the divine rights of the king.
The concept of natural law was first developed by Greek philosophers but developed to its fullest in Rome. The Romans inherited the legacy of Greek philosophy of law which in the hands of practical Romans jurists became a science of law- known as Roman system of Law- to serve needs of Roman Empire. According to Roman Jurists every man must live according to his nature- as a part of Cosmos or universal order. Later on, the concept was developed by the Roman jurist Gaius, who divided all laws in three categories:
- Jus Natural- natural law
- Jus Genetium- identical to international law
- Jus Civile- municipal law.
The trichotomy of jus naturale, jus civile and jus gentium and their scientific reconciliation for serving social needs was the greatest contribution made by Roman jurists to Roman jurisprudence.
Thus the classical jurist Gaius, for instance declares in his institutes: ―All nations who are ruled by law and customs make use partly of that which is common to all men. For whatever law any people has established for itself is peculiar to that state and is called jus civile, as being peculiar law of that state. But whatever natural reason has established among all the men is equally observed by all mankind, and is called jus gentium, because it is the law which all nation employ.‖ Thus the jus civile reffered to by Gaius was a law that was applicable to Roman citizen only.
Thus the chief feature of natural law in ancient age is that it is based on the precise reasons, universal in its application and rigid and eternal in its nature.
Reasons, as a universal force pervading the whole cosmos, was considered by the Stoics as the basis of law and justice. Divine reasons, they held, dwells in all men everywhere, irrespective of nationality or race. There is one common law of nature, based on reason, which is valid universally throughout the cosmos. Its postulates are binding upon all men in every part of the world. Their ultimate ideal was a world-state in which all men would live together harmoniously under the guidance of divine reason.
Medieval Period of Natural Law:
Law and religion remained largely undifferentiated in the medieval period. The forms of law making and adjudication were permeated with religious ceremonials, and the priests played an important role in the administration of justice. The king as the supreme judge, was believed to have been invested with his office and authority by Zeus himself. Thus law came to be regarded not as an changing command of divine being, but as a purely human invention, born of expediency and alterable at will. The period from 12th century mid-fourteenth century is generally reckoned as the medieval age‘ in the European history. In the middle ages, Christian religion influenced the idea of natural law. This period was dominated by the ecclesiastical doctrines which the Christian Father propagated for establishing the superiority of Church over the State. A theory of universal law described that law of God was propounded for establishing and guiding legal relationships between individuals. The natural law of Roman variety acquired theological character during medieval period. Since the law acquired divine character it became absolutely binding over all peoples and laws- whether customs or constitutions or any other human laws. According to Christian father, positive law should not conflict with natural law, if conflicts, it is not law and does not bind the conscience of the subject, thus law is reason according to them and not mere arbitrary whim of the ruler. Throughout the middle ages, the theology of the Catholic Church set the tone and pattern of all speculative thought. As Gierke has pointed out, two vital principles animated medieval thought: unity, derived from the God, and involving one faith, one Church, and one empire, and the supremacy of law, not merely man-made, but conceived as part of the universe.The Christians were taught to despise all worldly things on the earth and to expect to destruction of the world and ultimate right to God‘s kingdom. All human constitutions as property, law and slavery were product of the sin as a result of the fall of the man. They are all imperfect as compared to these in the city of God. Despite this, human law is to be obeyed till this world lasts and justice is very much needed in this human world. The justice is part of the divine law to govern us till sinful existence on this earth endures. Natural law now came to be accepted the part of the divine law by God and was to be expounded by the head of the catholic church, the Pope. St. Augustine was the notable exponent of Christian approach to law.
St. Augustine (354-430)
One of the early Fathers of the Church, taught that the absolute ideal of laws of nature had been evident in the golden age of mankind, which had preceded the fall of man. That age had seen man in a state of innocence and justice; he had lived under the guidance of the rules of reason. After his fall, the ‗absolute law of nature‘ could no longer be realized. As result, human law, together with property and institutions had appeared. Positive (man-made) law must strive so as to assist man in fulfilling the command of God‘s eternal law: law of this type does not necessarily make men good. In its role of guardian of lex aeterna (God‘s eternal law), the church must exercise total sovereignty over the State. If worldly law conflicts with the eternal, natural law, the provisions of that worldly law should be ignored; worldly law which was unjust could not be law.
Scholastic St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274)
Thomas Aquinas supported the natural law. The basis of scholastic thought is that natural law is derived from the Law of God. Law is defined as an ordinance of reason for the common good made by him who has the care of the community and promulgated. Since the world is ruled by the divine providence, universe is governed by divine reason. Divine law is supreme law and is revealed through man. Natural law is part of divine law, that part which reveals itself in natural reason. Man, as a reasonable being, applies part of divine law to human affairs and is able to distinguish between good and evil. All human law is derived from eternal law as revealed in natural law. According to Thomas Aquinas state is natural institution born out of elementary social needs of men, to enable them to feel secure and serve general food. State laws must not be tyrannical. Thomas Aquinas theory of property stands between unqualified rejection of private property propounded by the father of church and elevation of the right to property into natural right by Locke. He draws a distinction between the acquisition and use of property. The use of things by the man must not be for his own benefit but for the common goods. He justifies the difference between rich and poor. He considers the right to the acquisition of the property as one of the matters left by natural law to the state as a proper agency for regulation of social life. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “Law is nothing else than a rational ordering of things which concern the common good.” Or, as Cicero put it: “True law is right reason in agreement with Nature.”
Thomas Aquinas gave a fourfold classification of laws, namely:
- Lex Aeterna (Law of God or External Law- it means divine reason- known only to God. Gods plan for the universe. It governs celestial and territorial spheres, animal and inanimate kingdoms and heavenly bodies such as stars, moon, sun etc.
- Lex Naturalis(Natural Law)- which is discoverable by reasons.
- Lex Divina (Divine Law or Law of Scriptures) consists of directs revelation of divine purpose through Vedas to Hindus, Quran to Muslims or through the saints. through the Bible to Christians.
- Lex Humana(Human Law) which we now called positive law. Thomas Aquinas opined that positive law should be accepted only to the extent to which it is compatible with natural law or external law.
Renaissance and Reformation in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries led to a revolt against the supremacy of Church in temporal affairs of the states and monarchs. The renaissance led to an emphasis on the individual and a rejection of the universal collective society of medieval Europe. This period led to the development of rationalism, general awakening and the resurgence of new ideas in all area of knowledge. There was a change in the field of commerce and new businesses were established which wanted more protection from state. Besides this, colonization led to the development of nationalism and emergence of new ideas in different field of knowledge. The effects of new discoveries in renaissance period demand for absolute sovereignty of state and supremacy of positive law for over throwing the dominance of church. The jurists of renaissance period supporting the sovereignty of the state were propounded. Reason is the foundation stone of all these theories but it is secularized reason and not the theological reason. The natural law theories of this age proceed from supposition that a social contract‘ is the basis of the society.
Social Contract Theory:
Social Contract Theory is very old theory on the origin of the state. It emerged as a reaction against the Divine theory. The Social Contract Theory received prominence in the writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, & Rousseau, who gave it a systematic and technical treatment. This theory states that state is not a growth, but a make; it is not made by the God, but deliberately and voluntarily created by man. It has come into existence not by force but by consent or agreement. The term Social implies something connected with society, while Contract means an agreement between two or more people. Thus Social Contract Theory holds that men of the pre-political society got together and agreed upon a contract establishing the state. It implies that the state is man‘s deliberate creation to serve his needs. There are three elements in this Social Contract theory, they are: state of nature, contract or covenant and civil society. Social Contract Theory is very old theory on the origin of the state. It emerged as a reaction against the Divine theory. The Social Contract Theory received prominence in the writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, & Rousseau, who gave it a systematic and technical treatment. This theory states that state is not a growth, but a make; it is not made by the God, but deliberately and voluntarily created by man. It has come into existence not by force but by consent or agreement. The term social implies something connected with society, while contract‘ means an agreement between two or more people. Thus social Contract Theory holds that men of the pre-political society got together and agreed upon a contract establishing the state. It implies that the state is man‘s deliberate creation to serve his needs. There are three elements in this Social Contract theory, they are: state of nature, contract or covenant and civil society. The theory of natural law in due course through Social Contract Theory. The Social Contract Theory does not possess any analogy to the contract in private civil law. The state is seen as the legal creation of individual will and the word Contract’ is applied as a suitable legal term. The typical exponents of the doctrine are Grotius, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Let us examine the substantial feature propounded by each.
The nineteenth century jurists rejected the previous speculative notions concerning natural law legal philosophy and attempted to make jurisprudence as a science as distinct from make believe natural law philosophy. Therefore, jurisprudence in nineteenth century became a science of unaffected by ideal of justice or equity. The natural law theory received a set back in the wake of 19th century pragmatism. The profounder of analytical positivism, notably Bentham and Austin rejected natural law on the ground that it was ambiguous and misleading. Bentham called it a simple nonsense since absolute equality and absolute liberty were repugnant to the existence of the state. The doctrines propagated by Austin and Bentham completely divorced morality from law. All these developments shattered the very foundation of the natural law theory in 19th century. Latter in the 21st century there was revival of natural law school where jurist like Stammler, Fuller and Finnis had made their contribution towers the revival of this school. The nineteenth century opened with the French revolution and was a century which saw vast economic and technological changes, with capitalist enterprise aggressively expanding as a dominant feature of the century. It was the century that saw the rise of the nation state and unrestrained empire building, but most importantly it witnessed the virtual institutionalization of the previous Age of Reason‘ that had characterized the eighteenth century. This century saw the birth of the social sciences such as the introduction of Sociology, Economics and Political Science. It was believed that all intellectual endeavors could be pursued from a scientific basis and ideas and human behavior, investigated with a scalpel and microscope. Increasingly, science was viewed as the fundamental tool of progress. It was believed all elements of society could be objectively studied, and as result provide an accurate basis for large scale social engineering. Natural law, based on morality and incapable of being subjected to objective analysis, would fade away as it failed to stand up to scientific rigor and the challenge from Legal Positivism.
Nineteenth Century: Twentieth and Twenty- First Centuries: in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, jurisprudence, instead of being as a science, has again become a philosophy or way of life with basic values and fundamental freedoms touching the boundaries of all other social sciences.
III. The decline of natural law and rise of positivism
Natural law, which may be said to have occupied a pervasive role in the realms of ethics, politics and law is the oldest part of law and belongs to the remotest past. its influence has been so great that it has not only played an important role in practical life but also in scientific theory of law. No other philosophy moulded and shaped the American thinking and American institutions to such extent as did the philosophy of natural law in the form given into it the 17th and 18th centuries. The beginning of 19th century might tobe taken as marking the beginning of positivist movement. People were looking for finality & certainty as to law which was lacking in natural law. But the natural law theory received a set back in the wake of 19th century pragmatism. Because, the natural law is based on reason, law could not be based only on reason but instead legislature and other source should also be considered. The tradition, customs moral values, judge made laws, society also should be taken into account which is not emphasized in natural law theory. During the Medieval Period wherein church was the absolute to make rules or law whereby they said that Law is divine and made by God himself is not acceptable to many theorists according to medieval period theorist the church made laws are supreme and laws are Law of God or external law divine law or law of scriptures is not justified as those era Church tried dominating the whole of Europe saying the supremacy of law rather it is made by the Church fathers and it may be called as law made by fathers. Although law may be of a divine origin but all laws in the society could not be made by divine, even society makes law by its customs and traditions. As Thomas Aquinas said that law is a law of God or eternal law but we see the legal implications in modern world the God made laws although playing an important role in legal system but it is not extensive as he have failed to give light on the scope of modern scenario where the Judge made law, customary laws, king made laws has its own role to play. Thomas Hobbes natural law theory of self-preservation of person and property and his saying of endowing the rights to absolute authority is not justified as we had seen in the past events that endowing the absolute power to authority leaves peoples in tyranny or monarchy where the absolute power had spoiled many societies in the history and if it is implied in the present day the same situation may replay. The monarch may exploit the society for his selfish needs. Thus Thomas Aquinas saying of giving absolute power is not much applicable in the modern society. As modern society needs everyone to be equal wherein giving absolute power to some authority may create chaos in the society. It may also lead to revolution as we have seen that after any vesting of absolute power to any authority the authority tries to exploit the subjects thus the revolution starts among the subjects to being down the absoluteness of power vested in the authority.
For eg:- In India the theory was applied in the old age wherein the poor farmers took shelter for protection under the Zamindars to escape from being killed or exploited by others. The Zamindars as time passed became very powerful and they became the absolute power authority as the absolute rights of the farmers are being vested in them. Zamindars had started to exploit the poor farmers and took away land and amenities leaving nothing to them but to get more exploited in hands of those Zamindars. Thus then the revolution against the Zamindars had started wherein all the poor farmers being exhausted of all the atrocities by those Zamindars came along. They tried to take back their rights which were endowed to the Zamindars for their protection. Thus it is evident from the history that giving absolute power to an authority results in being exploited by that authority. So we can say that Thomas Hobbes is not justified in saying of endowing absolute power to an authority which may lead to abuse of power by that authority. The natural law theory saying ought to be may not always confirm to the needs of the society. For instance it is natural to beget children as it is natural but there is some restrictions in those natural right as to the number of children in conformity with Indian laws such as family planning measures etc. So the natural right may not be superior always. The concept of morality in natural law theory is of great importance but this theory is not applicable as such it may happen in Indian laws as according to Muslim law marring 3 wife is moral but in Indian law it is immoral.
Thus the theory of morality as said in natural law theory is not applicable in all times or in all aspects. the main drawback of natural law theory is that jurist interpreted its nature differently. Therefore, it is doubtful to decide the moral law of nature by human reasons. Although the tradition of natural law is by no means homogeneous, it is nevertheless united by a resilient core of ideas. The most important of these are
(1) the conviction that there exists a universal justice that transcends the particular expressions of justice in any given set of positive laws.
(2) that the universal principles of justice are accessible to reason and independent of human volition (i.e., they are discovered, not made by man).
(3) that a positive law contrary to these universal principles is not properly speaking a law, since it lacks the moral content necessary to put us under obligation. In contrast to legal positivists, philosophers of natural law insist that commands accompanied by sanctions are not sufficient to make things legal. Law is binding not simply because it is a command backed by threat, but because of the intrinsic worth of the action commanded. A morally iniquitous law cannot be valid. To be valid, law must have moral content. Natural law theorists therefore insist that the definition of valid or true law cannot be independent of the moral content of the law in question. Thus, the natural law theories reveal that the concept of natural law has been used to support different ideologies from time to time. It has been used to support absolutism, individualism and has even been used by revolutionists to overthrow the government. The contribution of natural law philosophy to the development of law is not less important. The natural law principles of justice, morality and conscience have been embodied in the various legal system. It generated a favourable climate for reformation, renaissance and provided foundation for fundamental human rights.
IV. Natural law theory in India
During the medieval and British period in India, natural law found its expression in the religious preaching Ramaniya, Kabir, Nanak, Swami Dayanand, Raja Ram Mohan Roy etc. who reiterated in the Vedic philosophy to re-establish the age old Indian values of truth, righteousness, morality and justice. The principle of natural justice doctrine against bias, judicial review, reasoned decisions and many others precepts of administrative law are based on principle of natural justice.
The concept of natural law has played a considerable role in the history of western society. It is ably propounded in the classical period by the Stoics. Cicero equated natural law with accurate reason. St Thomas called it as a expression of divine reason in created things. Hobbes identified natural law with a rule based on reason. To Locke the law of nature is the law of reason, common to all and which controls everyone. The theory of natural law was used by its exponents to maintain status quo or uphold equality or the realization of justice. The philosophers tried to undertake the rational construction of society through the application of natural law. The main factors for decline the natural law have been the empirical approach of David Hume, followed by the rise of the schools like positivism and historicism. The theory of natural rights is closely related to natural law. Its exponents assert that all men are born with certain rights and these rights are inalienable. According to Hobbes, the right of self-preservation is a natural right. Locke provided a clear cut statement of the theory of natural rights. He argued that life, liberty and property are the natural rights of the individual. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever the government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. Thus the main feature of natural law is the reason common to all and which controls everyone equal. It builds up the theory of equality. Natural law has been envisaged as a mere law of self preservation or as an operative law of nature constraining man to a certain pattern of behaviour. The term natural law has been understood to a mean a varieties of things to different people at different times of ideas which guide legal development and administration, basic moral quality is law which prevents a total separation of is from the ought, the method of discovering the perfect law. The natural law philosophy has occupied an important place in the realm of politics, law, religion, and ethics from the earliest time. It has played the role of harmonizing, synthesizing and promoting peace and justice in different periods and protected public against injustice, tyranny and misery. Blackstone observed, the natural law being co-existent with mankind and emanating from God himself is superior to all other laws. it is binding over all the countries at all the times and no man made law will be valid if it is contrary to the law of nature According to Dias and Hughes, Natural law as a law which derives its validity from its own inherent values, differentiated by its living and organic properties, from the law promulgated in advance by state or its agencies. According to Cohen, Natural law is not a body of actual enacted or interpreted law enforced by courts. It is in-fact a way of looking at things and a humanities approach of judges and jurists.
Cohen and Cohen, Readings in Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy, 660(1951).
 Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England: Introduction, 39(Oxford Publication, 1765).
 Chhavi Agarwal, “Due Process of Law and Natural Justice”, http://manupatra.com/roundup/323/Articles/d ue%20process%20of%20law.pdf (visited on July 16, 2016).
Jules Coleman and Scott Shapiro, The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and philosophy of law, 1-2(Oxford University Press, 2002). Available at: http://winst.org/wp-content/uploads/Finnis-Natural-Law-Classical-Trad-pdf.pdf (visited on 29 May 2016).
Prof. Nomita Aggarwal, Jurisprudence: Legal Theory, 275-276 (Central Law Publications, Allahabad:).
Dr. Avtar Singh and Dr. Harpreet Singh, Introduction to Jurisprudence, 63(LexisNexis, ed. 4th 2015).
P.J. Fitzgerald, Salmond on Jurisprudence, 15(London Sweet & Maxwell Ltd, ed. 5th, 1988).
 Routledge Cavendish, Jurispprudence Lawcards Series, (Cavendish Publishing Ltd. London:, ed. 3, 2002) 19-20. available at: https://books.google.co.in/books?id=nujL_aUl8eEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=books+on+jurisp rudence&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false (visited on May 5, 2017)
Dr. N.Krishna Kumar, Jurisprudence & Comparative Law, 16-17 (Central Law Publications, Allahabad ed. 1, 2007).
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available at: https://www.questia.com/read/118121410/natural-law-an-introduction-and-re-examination.(visited on September 15, 2016).
 Brain Bix, Jurisprudence: Theory & Context, 68-69(Westview Press, USA, 1996).
 “Theories of Law Natural Law, Legal Positivism, The Morality of Law Dworkin’s “Third Theory of Law” Legal Realism and Critical Legal Studies,” Available at: http://www.jus.unitn.it/users/patterson/course/topics/materiale/ analyticjurissupplemental (visited on April 20, 2016).
 Dr. S.R. Myneni, Political Science, 53(Allahabad Law Agency, 2015).
 Dr. S.P. Dwivedi, Jurisprudence & Legal Theory, 116-117(Central Law Publications, Allahabad, ed. 6, 2012),
 it concerned with moral values of human beings.
 Parminder Kaur and Sonu Sharma, “Natural Law and Revival in 20th Century”, Army Institute of Law Journal, 46 Vol. V1, (2013).
 Suri Ratanpala ‘Jurisprudence’ 21 (Cambridge University Press, New York 2011)).
 Dr. S.R. Myneni, Political Science, 53(Allahabad Law Agency, 2015).
 Prof. S.N. Dhyani, Jurisprudence & Indian Legal Theory, 37-38 (Central Law Agency, Allahabad, Reprint ed. 2013).
 Edgar Bodenheimer, Jurisprudence- the Philosophy and Method of the Law, 15 (Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi).
 Ibid, 13.
 Edgar Bodenheimer, Jurisprudence- the Philosophy and Method of the Law, 15 (Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi)
 Lord Lloyd of Hampstead, Introduction to Jurisprudence, 72(London Stevens & Sons,1972).
 Dr. G.P. Tripathi, Judicial Process, 117(Allahabad: Central Law Publications, 2015).
Cohen and Cohen, Readings in Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy, 660(1951).
 Tim Kaye, ‘Natural Law Theory and Legal Positivism: Two Sides of the Same Practical Coin?’, Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 14, No. 3( Wiley on behalf of Cardiff University, Autumn, 1987), pp. 307, available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1410187 (visited on June 6, 2016.).
 Raymond Wacks, Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory, https://books.google.co.in/books?id=EiDZBQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover &dq=jurisprudence+and+legal+theory&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage &q=jurisprudence%20and%20legal%20theory&f=false (visited on July 10, 2015)
Brain Bix, Jurisprudence: Theory and Context, 69(Westview Press, United State of America 1996).
Dr. S.R. Myneni, Political Science, 61-62(Allahabad Law Agency, 2015).
Daniel Mirabella, ‘The Death And Resurrection Of Natural Law, 253(The Western Australian Jurist)’available at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/WAJurist/2011/9.pdf (visited on June 1, 2016).
 S. B. Drury, H.L.A. Hart’s Minimum Content Theory of Natural Law, Political Theory, Vol. 9, No. 4. (Sage Publications, Inc (Nov., 1981), 534, available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/190687, (visited on June 30, 2016).
 Himanshi Mittal, Jurisprudence, 74(Universal Law Publishing, 2015).
 L.S. Rathore & S.A.Haqqi, Political Theory and Organization, 45-46(Eastern Book Company, 2008).