|Law is the common force organised to act as an obstacle to injustice. In short, law is justice.|
|— Frederic Bastiat, 1850|
Every individual has the right to use force for lawful self-defense. It is for this reason that the collective force (which is only the organized combination of the individual forces) may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose. Law is solely the organisation of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalised.
Proper legislative functions
Source: The Law by Frederic Bastiat, 1850
It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property. The existence of persons and property preceded the existence of the legislator, and his function is only to guarantee their safety.
It is not true that the function of law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our wills, our education, our opinions, our work, our trade, our talents, or our pleasures. The function of law is to protect the free exercise of these rights, and to prevent any person from interfering with the free exercise of these same rights by any other person.
Since law necessarily requires the support of force, its lawful domain is only in the areas where the use of force is necessary. This is justice.
Every individual has the right to use force for lawful self-defense. It is for this reason that the collective force which is only the organized combination of the individual forces - may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose.
Law is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized. Law is justice.
Law and charity are not the same
The mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect persons and property.
Furthermore, it must not be said that the law may be philanthropic if, in the process, it refrains from oppressing persons and plundering them of their property; this would be a contradiction. The law cannot avoid having an effect upon persons and property; and if the law acts in any manner except to protect them, its actions then necessarily violate the liberty of persons and their right to own property.
The law is justice - simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this.
If you exceed this proper limit - if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic - you will then be lost in an uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced Utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of Utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose its upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?
The basis for stable government
Law is justice. In this proposition a simple and enduring government can be conceived. And I defy anyone to say how even the thought of revolution, of insurrection, of the slightest uprising could arise against a government whose organized force was confined only to suppressing injustice.
Under such a regime, there would be the most prosperity - and it would be the most equally distributed. As for the sufferings that are inseparable from humanity, no one would even think of accusing the government for them. This is true because, if the force of government were limited to suppressing injustice, then government would be as innocent of these sufferings as it is now innocent of changes in the temperature.
As proof of this statement, consider this question: Have the people ever been known to rise against the Court of Appeals, or mob a Justice of the Peace, in order to get higher wages, free credit, tools of production, favorable tariffs, or government-created jobs? Everyone knows perfectly well that such matters are not within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals or a Justice of the Peace. And if government were limited to its proper functions, everyone would soon learn that these matters are not within the jurisdiction of the law itself. But make the laws upon the principle of fraternity - proclaim that all good, and all bad, stem from the law; that the law is responsible for all individual misfortunes and all social inequalities - then the door is open to an endless succession of complaints, irritations, troubles, and revolutions.
Justice means equal rights
Law is justice. And it would indeed be strange if law could properly be anything else! Is not justice right? Are not rights equal? By what right does the law force me to conform to the social plans of Mr. Mimerel, Mr. de Melun, Mr. Thiers, or Mr. Louis Blanc? If the law has a moral right to do this, why does it not, then, force these gentlemen to submit to my plans? Is it logical to suppose that nature has not given me sufficient imagination to dream up a Utopia also? Should the law choose one fantasy among many, and put the organized force of government at its service only?
Law is justice. And let it not be said - as it continually is said - that under this concept, the law would be atheistic, individualistic, and heartless; that it would make mankind in its own image. This is an absurd conclusion, worthy only of those worshippers of government who believe that the law is mankind.
Nonsense! Do those worshippers of government believe that free persons will cease to act? Does it follow that if we receive no energy from the law, we shall receive no energy at all? Does it follow that if the law is restricted to the function of protecting the free use of our faculties, we will be unable to use our faculties? Suppose that the law does not force us to follow certain forms of religion, or systems of association, or methods of education, or regulations of labor, or regulations of trade, or plans for charity; does it then follow that we shall eagerly plunge into atheism, hermitary, ignorance, misery, and greed? If we are free, does it follow that we shall no longer recognize the power and goodness of God? Does it follow that we shall then cease to associate with each other, to help each other, to love and succor our unfortunate brothers, to study the secrets of nature, and to strive to improve ourselves to the best of our abilities?
The path to dignity and progress
Law is justice. And it is under the law of justice - under the reign of right; under the influence of liberty, safety, stability, and responsibility - that every person will attain his real worth and the true dignity of his being. It is only under this law of justice that mankind will achieve - slowly, no doubt, but certainly - God's design for the orderly and peaceful progress of humanity.
It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion - whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government - at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty.
Pied Pipers of Babylon
Pied Pipers of Babylon ("Pipers") is an excellent book by Verl K. Speer in 1985 covering the origins of Common Law and Admiralty Law and their ongoing battle into modern times. The book expands on and is influenced heavily by William Avery and the concepts he discusses in his book The Dispatch of Merchants which was written in about 1976.
|The more one's day to day personal transactions involve tax-action, the more he is drawn into the jurisdiction of admiralty and out of the jurisdiction of Common Law. It is worthy to note that neither the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, nor any subsequently enacted statute has modified the originally established jurisdictional boundaries over revenue causes in this country.|
|— page 29|
|Common Law is the law of conscience - nothing more. All other attributes properly associated with "the common law" are, in reality, referring to a system devised by man for the sole purpose of allowing and encouraging this law of conscience to flourish. The common law jury of twelve, knowingly and intelligently exercising its rights and duties, is the cornerstone of this system of common law. The science of Common law is the science of God's laws - Natural law and justice. It's essence is the golden rule.|
|— page 46|
|Since Magna Carta, in 1215 - there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramoont duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws. Unless such be the right and duty of jurors, it is plain that, instead of juries being a "palladium of liberty" - a barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government - they are really mere tools in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression it may desire to have executed.|
|— page 47|
todo - this section is in progress
- Nice statement about smart contracts and self-governance - by Crypto Lawyer (Nina Gunther Kilbride from Eris Industries)
- The Law - local PDF of Frederic Bastiat's 1850 book
- International Tribunal for Natural Justice
- The Common Law Jurisdiction blog roll
- The Thrive Movement's justice sector
- The Fascinating Process of Self Liberation under Common Law
- A. C. P. Federal Class Actions - USA & Canada
- Documentary about Black's Law Dictionary
- Brazilian BAR associations