Monday, March 26, 2012

That an entire code would be needed to describe the just extent and operation of natural rights...

...And yet, our reluctance to create such an extensive code, placing it above our legislatures, cannot rightly be understood as our decision to surrender our rights to the free discretion and will of legislators.  It would be a major undertaking to create such a code, and the code would most likely need to be modified more often than a constitution, due to its volume and the tendency of a highly detailed body of law to need to be corrected or adapted more often than a more general one.  However, who can believe that because we have not detailed the minutia of natural justice in stone, we have somehow empowered our legislatures to abandon it altogether?

(All of that was more my reaction to the following than my idea of what the author of it actually had in mind.  The relevance is in how the author does express the opinion, below, that the full extent and operation of a person's rights could not be fully set forth without something as extensive as the totality of the laws of Great Britain, as of the late 18th century.)

From Political Disquisitions:

“Enumerating the political regulations, necessary for supporting natural personal rights, would only be narrating the laws of England, relative to this subject, which are so admirably calculated for this purpose, as appears, to be incapable of much improvement....”

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