Natural law, or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis), is a system 
of law that is determined by nature, and so is universal. Classically, 
natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human 
nature — both social and personal — and deduce binding 
rules of moral behavior from it. Natural law is often 
contrasted with the positive law of a given political 
community, society, or state. In legal theory, on the 
other hand, the interpretation of positive law requires some 
reference to natural law. On this understanding of natural law, 
natural law can be invoked to criticize judicial decisions about 
what the law says but not to criticize the best interpretation of the 
law itself. Some scholars use natural law synonymously with natural 
justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale), while others distinguish 
between natural law and natural right.

Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are 
distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are 
inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or 
human nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain 
rights or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition or 
articulation. Natural law theories have, however, exercised a profound 
influence on the development of English common law, and have featured 
greatly in the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suárez, Richard Hooker, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, and Emmerich de Vattel. 

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica I-II qq. 90–106, restored Natural Law to its independent state, asserting natural law as the rational creature's participation in the eternal law. Yet, since human reason could not fully comprehend the Eternal law, it needed to be supplemented by revealed Divine law. (See also Biblical law in Christianity.) Meanwhile, Aquinas taught that all human or positive laws were to be judged by their conformity to the natural law. An unjust law is not a law, in the full sense of the word. It retains merely the 'appearance' of law insofar as it is duly constituted and enforced in the same way a just law is, but is itself a 'perversion of law.'  At this point, the natural law was not only used to pass judgment on the moral worth of various laws, but also to determine what the law said in the first place. This principle laid the seed for possible societal tension with reference to tyrants.

In the 16th century, the School of Salamanca (Francisco Suárez, Francisco de Vitoria, etc.) further developed a philosophy of natural law. After the Church of England broke from Rome, the English theologian Richard Hooker adapted Thomistic notions of natural law to Anglicanism. There are five important principles: to live, to learn, to reproduce, to worship God, and to live in an ordered society.

The intellectual historian A. J. Carlyle has commented on Paul's Epistle to the Romans (Romans 2:14–15); "There can be little doubt that St Paul's words imply some conception analogous to the 'natural law' in Cicero, a law written in men's hearts, recognized by man's reason, a law distinct from the positive law of any State, or from what St Paul recognized as the revealed law of God.

Because of the intersection between natural law and natural rights, it has been cited as a component in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (The Bill of Rights). Declarationism states that the founding of the United States is based on Natural law.  The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that it has become necessary for the United States to assume "the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them".
Natural Law & Natural Justice
Natural Law & Natural Justice
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“In certain situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law of man... To pursue natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it's an emotional response. No, not vengeance, but rather punishment and natural justice.”
Natural law, or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis), is a system 
of law that is determined by nature, and so is universal. Classically, 
natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human 
nature — both social and personal — and deduce binding 
rules of moral behavior from it. Natural law is often 
contrasted with the positive law of a given political 
community, society, or state. In legal theory, on the 
other hand, the interpretation of positive law requires some 
reference to natural law. On this understanding of natural law, 
natural law can be invoked to criticize judicial decisions about 
what the law says but not to criticize the best interpretation of the 
law itself. Some scholars use natural law synonymously with natural 
justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale), while others distinguish 
between natural law and natural right.

Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are 
distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are 
inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or 
human nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain 
rights or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition or 
articulation. Natural law theories have, however, exercised a profound 
influence on the development of English common law, and have featured 
greatly in the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suárez, Richard Hooker, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, and Emmerich de Vattel. 

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica I-II qq. 90–106, restored Natural Law to its independent state, asserting natural law as the rational creature's participation in the eternal law. Yet, since human reason could not fully comprehend the Eternal law, it needed to be supplemented by revealed Divine law. (See also Biblical law in Christianity.) Meanwhile, Aquinas taught that all human or positive laws were to be judged by their conformity to the natural law. An unjust law is not a law, in the full sense of the word. It retains merely the 'appearance' of law insofar as it is duly constituted and enforced in the same way a just law is, but is itself a 'perversion of law.'  At this point, the natural law was not only used to pass judgment on the moral worth of various laws, but also to determine what the law said in the first place. This principle laid the seed for possible societal tension with reference to tyrants.

In the 16th century, the School of Salamanca (Francisco Suárez, Francisco de Vitoria, etc.) further developed a philosophy of natural law. After the Church of England broke from Rome, the English theologian Richard Hooker adapted Thomistic notions of natural law to Anglicanism. There are five important principles: to live, to learn, to reproduce, to worship God, and to live in an ordered society.

The intellectual historian A. J. Carlyle has commented on Paul's Epistle to the Romans (Romans 2:14–15); "There can be little doubt that St Paul's words imply some conception analogous to the 'natural law' in Cicero, a law written in men's hearts, recognized by man's reason, a law distinct from the positive law of any State, or from what St Paul recognized as the revealed law of God.

Because of the intersection between natural law and natural rights, it has been cited as a component in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (The Bill of Rights). Declarationism states that the founding of the United States is based on Natural law.  The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that it has become necessary for the United States to assume "the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them".
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