Thus, itself, we mean it to be the

Thus, we say, the laws of optics, of mechanics, as well as the laws of nature and of nations”. There are indisputably two kinds of laws —the Laws of nature and the Laws of men. When we use ‘law’ in the singular without any qualifying expression, treat it as a distinct braver of knowledge, an aspect of life in itself, we mean it to be the law of men and not the law of nature. According to Holland the term “law” applies strictly to human laws: “propositions” which are not rules for human action are laws “by metaphor only” law by courtesy, by an extended use of the term.

The laws of nature are eternal. They are inherent in the scheme of the Universe, we have not made them, and we have only discovered them. When we see a certain uniformity in the behaviour of nature, when we see that a certain cause always leads to a certain effect, we express such uniformity in formal terms and call it a law of nature. Physical laws are expression of the uniformities of nature, general principles expressing the regularity and harmony in the operations of the universe. Laws of gravity, light, heat, sound, etc., are instances of physical or scientific laws. The laws of man are manmade. They sub serve human needs.

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They are laws so long as the State recognises them as law. They express certain desires, pre-determined or stipulated uniformities of human behaviour. They are not concerned with what happens but what should be done. They differ from commands because a command orders the doing of particular act, while a legal rule tends with general and repealed activities. The laws of men tell us what may be done, what may not be done with a sense of obligation behind them. Law is not a body of specific commands; it is a standard of conduct.

It applies alike to all persons for whom it is meant. We may safely say that there is no law natural or human without uniformity. The arbitrary act of a despot in wrecking vengeance on an opponent is not law but a despotic law, ruthless and opposed to popular sentiments, is none-the-less a law if there is uniformity in it. The State prescribes a certain uniformity of human action for the welfare and progress of the community and the individual which we call law.

The State enforces such uniformity by putting certain sanctions behind it, by making the person who does not obey it liable in certain ways. That is why Salmond said that the law is the body of principles recognised and applied by the State in the administration of justice. A person has a right to do that which the law allows him to do.

It is wrong to do that which the law does not allow to be done.


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