Part 4 What is Law & What is Not?

BY LMR

Legal V Lawful Part 1: Introduction

Legal V Lawful Part 2: Meet Your Straw-man - When is a person not a person? Understanding the confusing world of legalese and the system of society.

Legal V Lawful Part 3: Legislation and Societies - What is legislation and who does it apply to? What is a Society?

Legal V Lawful Part 4: What is Law? What is Not Law? Understanding the 'Common Law'.

 

In this section I will discuss the most basic aspects of law, what it is, and what it is not...

At school, in general science, we learn, for example, about “The Law of Gravity”.  We understand what The Law of Gravity means to us; we have no choice in the matter; it cannot be broken. In simple terms it means that we are stuck to the surface of the Earth and to leave the Earth’s surface takes effort such as jumping, but we know we will always return to the Earth’s surface.

I have pointed this out because it is an excellent example of what a ‘law’ is.  There are others like it, which we could discuss, but the point is that we can collectively call them “The Laws of Physics” or better still, “The Laws of the Universe”.

They are inviolate.
They are incontrovertible.
They are implacable.  
They apply, always, to everyone and everything, without fear or favour.

They are LAWS in the truest sense of the word.

The Laws of the Universe are also the Laws for People - simply because people are affected by the Laws of the Universe - just as much as anything else organic, and everything inorganic. An important point to note is that humanity does not make laws. All our Scientists have ever been able to do is to ‘discover’ them; and, as far as possible, create mathematical formulae to express them. 

So, what else falls into the category of Law?

Nothing really, but there is something that almost does, and it is called Common Law.

Most people agree that we do need a ‘set of rules’ to enable people to “Live together, within a community, without too much acrimony”. And most (if not all) of us know what that would entail by virtue of our common sense. For example, we know what upsets other people, we know stealing and causing physical harm is wrong, and we know how we would want to be treated by others. That ‘knowing’ by virtue of our in-built common sense, is known as ‘Common Law’. The Common Law is not, strictly speaking, written down, although its ‘basics’ can be, in the form:

1. Do not deliberately cause injury to another, and (as far as possible) take sufficient precaution such that it doesn’t happen accidentally
2. Do not deliberately cause loss to another, and (as far as possible) take sufficient precaution such that it doesn’t happen accidentally
3. Do not deliberately breach another’s peace, and (as far as possible) take sufficient precaution such that it doesn’t happen accidentally
4. Do not employ any mischief in your promises, agreements, and arrangements. 

Common Sense forms our Common Law – which is also known as legem terrae in Latin, or “The Law-of-the-Land” in English. And our Law, our ‘Common Law’, is as inviolate, incontrovertible, implacable, applicable at all times, to everyone, without fear or favour - as are the Laws of the Universe.

That’s Law, what it is, and where it comes from.

How it is applied, within common law, is by means of Juries of 12 ordinary people, listening to facts, and making a combined decision called a ‘verdict’. And that’s the only difference, in practice, between The Common Law and the Laws of the Universe. In the latter case, no Jury, no vote, no opinion is required, for example, what goes up must come down and that’s all there is to it.

Statutes V Law

We discussed statutes in Part 3 and clarified when they apply and to whom. 

I am now going to demonstrate the differences between law and legislation, or ‘statutory law’ as it is often called to mislead us.

There are two distinguishing characteristics between Law and Statutes/Acts/regulations/Administrative Law, etc. First, the former can be repealed, and have been on many occasions. Can you repeal common law? Can you repeal any Law of the Universe? No. A characteristic such as ‘cannot be repealed’ is a very powerful characteristic, a distinguishing characteristic, specifically distinguishing between Law and statutory law, etc.

The other distinguishing characteristic between the Laws of the Universe and legislation is that the Laws of the Universe cannot be broken, hence we need no rules for people to obey these laws. And there is no need to prescribe punishment for breaking them. Legislation always includes prescribed penalties for violations. In the case of Common Law, it is possible to break it, but in this case, a Jury decides the punishment to fit the crime, once again, by virtue of its innate common sense.

So, what are Acts of Parliament, and Statutes et cetera if they are not Law? And what are Judges and Magistrates involved in if it is not Law? 

The answer is ‘Legislation’, ‘legal’ situations, ‘legal’ positions, ‘legalities’, et cetera, but they are NOT ‘law’ and they are subordinate to the higher constitutional laws of the land.

The problem, of course, is that everyone has always been encouraged to refer to legislation as ‘law’, therefore, the ‘inviolate, incontrovertible, implacable, applicable at all times, to everyone, without fear or favour’ attributes of law are taken on by statutes, in people’s mind, at least; meaning a parking offence, or non-payment of council tax, becomes comparable to breaching the law of gravity.

It should be noted that the crime of murder is a Common Law crime, so to disavow the Common Law, disavows the crime of murder. The consequence would be that someone could pre-meditate to take the life of another (without, necessarily, requiring any reason whatsoever), and no crime would have been committed in that circumstance. This is the absurd position we would all be in, without the protection of the Common Law.

Legal V Lawful Part 1: Introduction

Legal V Lawful Part 2: Meet Your Straw-man - When is a person not a person? Understanding the confusing world of legalese and the system of society.

Legal V Lawful Part 3: Legislation and Societies - What is legislation and who does it apply to? What is a Society?

Legal V Lawful Part 4: What is Law? What is Not Law? Understanding the 'Common Law'.