Natural law


If we look at the word natural law , we clearly see that it is made up of two different words. The word law comes from the Latin “ directum ” and could be translated as things “that is in accordance with the law” and it is also everything that allows us to develop the different statements of justice that constitute the organization of institutions and the norms that regulate a society . The second term that makes up the word is natural, and as its name indicates, it is related to everything that is linked to nature. The term natural actually has many and different meanings and could perfectly refer to things such as the essentials of a being , to the set of physical phenomena or to the set of elements that we can find within the earthly world or, to the quality of something, among other things. So, we can say that natural law is the set of norms and rules that men establish on behalf of our conscience .

What is natural law?

The natural law is the set of rules , norms and situations that humans derive or established from their own conscience and are those who are determined as a kind of justice in a given moment in history, changing depending on the stage of the life in which a society is living.

  • Characteristics of natural law
  • History of natural law
  • Beginning
  • Classification of natural law
  • Examples

Characteristics of natural law

  • Natural rights are inalienable and universal because no person can deprive another of the enjoyment of them and at the same time, no person can make a decision to put them aside and not put them into practice.
  • It is based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, which is responsible for protecting all those rights that are part of natural law.
  • It is not a right that was created by man because it already existed before man was formed.
  • It is intrinsic to human nature.
  • It is oriented at all times towards the way of living in peace and security where justice reigns .
  • It also has natural law as its foundation, which consists of attributing all the things that exist in the world as a single one, it considers that in this way there is a higher right formed by values ​​that guide it.

History of natural law

Natural law has been seen as an essential issue in Western thought and was more popularly known as natural law. You can observe facts that date back to the mythology and philosophy of thought in Ancient Greece . Men like Homer and Hesiod , Plato and Aristotle used and believed in natural law. During the Middle Ages there were two different periods of law, the patristic, which was the doctrine of the church, and the scholastic , which was taught by Saint Thomas Aquinas.who also supported natural law. Ancient men even declared that natural law could exist even if God did not. During the seventeenth century, rationalism was ended thus creating Kant’s School of Rational Law . Basically natural law has its origin in the ancient Roman Empire when jurists began to affirm the existence of a superior being. Cicero was the one who was in charge of giving perfection to the concept, and established it as a higher order of immutable origin that sought the way to make men act correctly through its commandments, keeping them away from evil.



The basic principles of natural law are two and are based on the nature of the human being and the set of realities in which adequate social coexistence develops . One of the main principles of natural law is the right to human life that arises from the moment of conception until the process of natural death arrives. Life is not a property that belongs to the state, but is a gift that comes from God . Another important principle is the duty to always seek the truth , which is considered as the foundation of the maturation of people and must through it, seek the truth at all times avoiding manipulation ideological that comes from the mass media . The freedom is an important principle, which can not be said to be absolute because it has some limits. The justice , manifested in the way we give everyone his due and solidarity that we have with the people who need it most.

Classification of natural law

Natural law is classified into two types of rights. The ontological natural law that is cataloged as the science that is in charge of studying the human being; and natural deontological law , which is the science that is based on the study of being, but based on a system of instilled values.


  • Ancient divine laws: in ancient times there was a group of divine laws that governed men and whose existence could not be doubted.
  • Plato’s fundamental rights: he was in charge of postulating the existence of three types of intrinsic fundamental rights, the right to life, freedom and thought.
  • The ten Christian commandments: they were dictated by God and were the basis of a legal code for the Hebrew people during the time of Christianity .

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