Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Foundational law Quotes X

“[I]n many cases, the common law will control Acts of Parliament, and sometimes adjudge them to be utterly void: for when an act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will control it, and adjudge such Act to be void.”

“The Law of Nature is that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused into his heart, for his preservation and direction; and this is lex aeterna, the Moral Law, called also the Law of Nature. And by this Law, written with the finger of God in the heart of man, were the people of God a long time governed before that law was written by Moses.”

“This Law of nature is part of the Laws of England . . . the law of nature was before any judicial or municipal Law in the world . . . the Law of nature is immutable and cannot be changed.”

“Nothing that is against reason is lawful. For reason is the life of the Law, nay the common Law itself is nothing else but reason, which is to be understood of an artificial perfection of reason, gotten by long study, observation, and experience, and not of every mans natural reason . . . This legal reason is the highest reason.”

“For it is one . . . of the great honors of the Common Laws, that Cases of great difficulty are never adjudged or resolved in darkness, or in silence, suppressing the reasons, but in open Court, and there upon solemn and elaborate Arguments . . .”

“The reporting of particular Cases or Examples is the most perspicuous course of teaching, the right rule and reason of the Law; for so did Almighty God himself, when he delivered by Moses his Judicial Laws, He taught the Laws with examples, as it appears in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. And the Glossographers, to illustrate the Rule of Civil Law, do often reduce the Rule into a Case, for the more lively expressing and true application of the same.”

- Sir Edward Coke, early 17th century.

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