French law – The foundations of the rule of law

A. Natural Law Doctrines

The doctrines of natural law assert that law comes from the very nature of
nature of man.

For St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, this natural law is revealed to men by
men by God. For Grotius, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, natural law must be
be discovered by reason.

Jusnaturalists defend such a conception of law, based on human nature and superior to positive law
nature, and superior to positive law.

B. The doctrines of positive law

For the doctrines of positive law, law is not derived from human nature, but is
nature, but is justified by itself. It is legitimate because it is given
by authorities.

Kelsen, author of Pure Theory of Law, is the most famous representative of
representative of positivism, that doctrine which affirms that law is
law is identical to the rules of law. This doctrine rejects the existence of
of a natural law.

Natural law and positive law

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