Natural law in Latin is one of the central themes of the philosophy of law. It can be said that natural law is a philosophical conception of law.
The central idea of Natural Law
It is based on the consideration of a set of laws that underpin a system of supreme and universal norms. In other words, there is a higher truth that governs the elaboration of legal norms. This determines a law as just because it gives a universal idea of justice .
The philosophical point of view that establishes natural law
In antiquity, some philosophers (the Stoics) believed that the set of living beings was part of an organization. This establishes a nature with fixed laws that serve as a guide for moral conduct and laws made by men.
Later, other philosophical issues such as rationalism , considered that human reason had universal principles, which it was a reference for moral considerations and legislative proposals.
Natural law states that there is a human nature that serves as the basis for the human sciences and also for the legal organization. Philosophers and jurists in favor of natural law, as a general model that inspire laws, understand that human nature has universal principles and values, therefore, no law can go against natural law.
The philosophical approach to natural law has consequences for morality and legal norms. It should be noted that the simple fact of being born is a natural right, it is not a simple written norm, but that legal norms obey a general and immutable idea about what is fair .
Positive law, a conception opposite to natural law
Positive law is a conception contrary to natural law. According to the positive approach there is no immutable human nature, nor a natural reason or pre-established order of nature.
Consequently, laws are not the consequence of a natural reason, but of the evolution of society and legal norms that adapt to the circumstances of each period. For positivists there is no natural right above the real right, as laws adapt to new social contexts.