PHL265 S Oct 1 Hobbes Chapters 16,17,28,30.docx

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19 Apr 2012
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PHL265 Hobbes Leviathan Chapters 16,17,28,30 SA 1 Oct, 2011
Chapter 25: Of Civil Law
Civil Law the laws that men are therefore bound to observe because they are members of a commonwealth
Law in general, law is not counsel, but command by someone of whom whose commands formerly oblige their subject
Civil Law laws by which the commonwealth commands men to make use of, to distinguish right from wrong, and what
is contrary to the rule
-some laws are particular to some provinces, particular vocations etc.
-none can make laws but the commonwealth
-commands are to be signified by sufficient signs as law recognition
-the legislator in all commonwealths is only the sovereign
-laws can also only be abolished by the sovereign
-the sovereign is not subject to civil laws; if he wishes to go against a civil law, he need only abolish it
-only he that is bound to himself is not bound; all other subjects are bound
-the judgement of what is reasonable and of what is to be abolished belongs to the sovereign
-the law of nature and the civil law contain each other and are of equal extent
-the laws of nature consist in equity, justice, gratitude etc. and are merely qualities that dispose men to peace
-when a commonwealth is settled, they become laws through civil law
-the civil law is also part of the dictates of nature
-justice; performance of covenant and giving every man his own, is a dictate of the law of nature
-every subject has agreed to obey the civil law, and therefore, obedience to the civil law is part of the law of nature
-civil and natural laws are of different parts of law; civil is written, natural is unwritten
-the right of nature, the natural liberty of man, may by the civil law be restrained
-law was brought into the world for nothing else but to limit the natural liberty of men so that they may not hurt, but
assist one another, and join together against a common enemy
-provincial laws are not made by custom, but by the sovereign power
-if an unwritten law are generally observed across provinces of a dominion, that law is a law of nature
-the two arms of a commonwealth are force and justice; the first is in the king, the second is in the hands of parliament
-law must always be rational; contradictions do not often arise in the law
Judge’s duty – in all courts of justice, the sovereign is the judge; the subordinate judge ought to have regard to the
reason which moved his sovereign to make such law, that his sentence may be according thereunto; which then is his
sovereign’s sentence, otherwise it is his own, and an unjust one
Thus: law is a command, consisting in declaration of the will of he who commands
-children, madmen and beasts are exempt from the law ‘natural fools’
-the laws of nature do not need publishing and are contained in the phrase do not that to another which thou thinkest
unreasonable to be done by another to thyself
-nothing is law where the legislator cannot be known; there must be signs that the law derive from the sovereign’s will
-the legislator is supposed in every commonwealth to be evidence, because he is the sovereign, who having been
constituted by the consent of everyone is supposed by everyone to be sufficiently known
-it is evident through natural law and through reason that no man ought to weaken the power that protects him through
his own covenant
-every man is obliged to do his best endeavour to inform himself of all written laws that may concern his future actions
-the laws of the sovereign must be interpreted and can only be interpreted by judges appointed by the sovereign
-judges common law is not true law, and does not always have to be followed as precedents
-it is against the law of nature to punish the innocent
-the intention of the legislator is always supposed to be equity
Judge Characteristics right understanding of the principle law of nature called equity, contempt of unnecessary riches,
to be able to judge divest of all fear, anger, hatred, love and compassion, and last, patience to hear and memory
-division of laws is in natural and positive; natural laws are those which have been laws from all eternity, also called
moral laws positive are those that have been made by the sovereign and are written and made known to men
-of positive laws, there are distributive laws; those that determine the rights of the subjects, declares proprietary laws
etc. and penal are those that are inflicted on violators of the law
-in all things not contrary to the moral law of nature, all subjects are bound to obey divine law
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