Jus Naturale Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Jus Naturale, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Jus Naturale?

“Latin meaning “natural law.” Legal principals which originated from universal divine truths. Refer to the definition for jus cogens.

History and Meaning of Jus Naturale

Jus naturale, meaning "natural law," is a legal principle that originated from the belief in divine truths that are universally applicable. This principle posits that certain moral and ethical truths are inherent to human nature and that they form the basis of the law. Jus naturale has been an influential concept in many legal systems throughout history, including Roman law, medieval canon law, and modern concepts of human rights.

In ancient Rome, jus naturale referred to a body of laws that were believed to be inherent to human beings and that were discoverable through reason and observation. Roman jurists believed that these laws were universal and that they should form the basis of all legal systems. During the Middle Ages, the concept of jus naturale was absorbed into Christian theology and became a cornerstone of medieval canon law.

Today, jus naturale continues to be an important legal concept, particularly in the area of human rights. The idea that certain rights are inherent to all human beings, regardless of their nationality or social status, can be traced back to the concept of jus naturale.

Examples of Jus Naturale

  1. The right to life is often considered a fundamental principle of jus naturale.
  2. Many legal advocates argue that the prohibition against torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners is a natural law principle.
  3. Jus naturale is sometimes invoked in cases involving property rights, such as the right to clean air and water.
  4. The principle of jus naturale is often cited as the basis for international laws prohibiting genocide and war crimes.
  5. The right to free expression is sometimes considered a natural law principle, based on the idea that all human beings have the inherent right to express themselves.

Legal Terms Similar to Jus Naturale

  1. Jus cogens - this is a legal principle similar to jus naturale that refers to norms from which no derogation is permitted under international law.
  2. Natural justice - this is a legal principle that concerns the procedure of administrative decision-making and ensures that decisions are made fairly and impartially.
  3. Human rights - this term refers to a set of fundamental rights and freedoms that are inherent to all human beings and are protected by law.