Natural Crime versus Legal CrimeLaw, what is it and where does it come from? There are many types of law ranging from natural law, constitutional law, criminal law, civil law, common law and positive law. Obviously there are many laws in place today that could be subcategorized under any of the aforementioned types of law. Most of the laws in America originated from common law. Common law was and is part of the English legal system. Although most of our laws originated from common law, the supreme law of the land is the United States Constitution. In America, the law mostly comes from four sources. These four sources are administrative law, common law (which includes case law) statutes and ...view middle of the document...
Thomas Hobbes an English philosopher defined a natural law as "a precept of general rule found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life" (Philosophy of law).
Positive law is considered to be man-made law, meaning, law established or duly enacted by a popularly elected government. Positive law is declared official, adopted or passed by an official or person vested with the authority by a government to stipulate the regulations of a given community. In America positive laws come in a wide range for both state and federal governments. These include judicial orders, legislative enactments, administrative regulations and executive decrees. In short, a positive law is any law that came to be via a written bill of the government.
My interpretation of the lawThe previously mentioned types of law i.e. natural law and positive law give us natural crimes and legal crimes. Where an act is classified a crime could originate from one of the two mentioned types of law, a natural crime (obviously stemming from natural law) and a legal crime (being classified as such) from a positive law. As I see it, natural law and positive law work hand-in-hand. That is, the relationship between the two types of law is that natural law is used as a guide for positive law, making positive law usually based upon an assumption of natural law.
With that being said, how do we decide whether a particular action is right or wrong? How would we classify a behavior as wrong and call it a crime, if all acts that are inherently wrong already fall under natural law? Since natural law is that which is fundamental to man and can be discovered by, human reason, intuition, or inspiration Schmalleger (1999, p. 16) and positive law (to my understanding) is supposedly based upon human reason, intuition and or inspiration then it supports my belief that positive law is based upon a deduction of natural law. And that leads to the creation of new, refined laws, since society is always changing. In every society natural laws (what is considered an inherently evil act) will very, if just to a small degree). This makes the clarification and classification of these laws vitally important since natural law will not only be used to classify certain acts as criminal, but also influence (at least in our society) positive law.
Crimes, labeled as such by lawVarious laws create crimes out of actions that I have classified as follows. Murder (with a few exceptions such as self defense) would be considered a natural crime since it is an innately evil act. Rape would be considered another one as well as Robbery. I would classify almost any crime that injures, harms, physically violates another human being as a natural crime.
A few examples of positive laws may be some of the newer Aviation laws. The Aviation laws in the United States are laws that, govern aircraft operations and the maintaining of aircraft facilities. Statutes...