Maxims of Natural Law

Ordinarily a Maxim is an established principle or proposition, a principle of law universally admitted, as being just and consonant. They are principles and authorities, considered part of the general customs or common law of the land, and of the same strength as acts of parliament or congress.

In reals terms they are statements offered by a Plaintiff or Defendant, that may help convey to a Jury the reasons and justification for doing, or not doing, what was done, or not done. It remains that all arguments thus presented must be judged by a Jury in the same way that they must judge all the facts and natural laws before them. Maxims are not sacrosanct and not unarguable. Something may be presented as the Truth but if not the whole Truth is a deception. 

These Maxims are not ordinary. 

They concern Natural law only. Sourced from Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary, they have been amended herein, re-written, deleted or added to, so as to conform to Natural Law — to the exclusion of Man-made (so called) laws. (Common Law is also excluded.) Every instance of the word Law hereafter should be considered as meaning Natural Law

Alterations of any of the maxims of the common law are ordinarily considered dangerous; but such does not apply in this case. Natural law is not to be commanded, obeyed or enforced; it is only to be respected.

This list of Maxims is not necessarily complete, neither to be regarded as fully truthful or (naturally) lawful. This list is submitted only as a founding document based on this thesis, for what may eventually be compiled and ratified, if indeed found necessary or important.

Existence - Nature

  1. It is the same thing not to exist as a being of nature and not to present as a being of nature.
  2. The laws of nature are unchangeable.
  3. Nature aspires to perfection but free will does not guarantee it, so neither does Natural Law.
  4. Nature allows no vacuum, and neither does Natural Law.
  5. Necessity does not make lawful that which otherwise is unlawful; whatsoever is unlawful is never necessary.
  6. Necessity has no law but to life’s very existence.
  7. Law works not an injury.
  8. No man can renounce the country in which he was born, but may choose to abjure the obligation of his allegiance.

Identity & Identification

  1. What is beyond possibility cannot exist, and the reverse, what cannot exist is not possible.
  2. True identity is that which is truthfully and cogently identified.
  3. What is like is not the same, for nothing similar is the same.
  4. A name does not suffice if there be not a thing by law or by fact.
  5. That is perfect which is complete in all its parts.
  6. In conjunctives each part ought to be true.
  7. In the greater sum is contained the less.
  8. Where is the greater part, there is the whole.
  9. An integral part being taken away, the whole is taken away.
  10. The cause ceasing, the effect must cease.
  11. It shall have effect as far as it can have effect.
  12. Words are to be taken so as to have effect; enquire into them to know what things are really true.

Rights and Independence

  1. Right to one’s life is Mans fundamental necessity.
  2. Whatsoever is in the womb, is not independent, but whomsoever is born from the human womb is an independent, living human being, despite early nurturing needs.
  3. Where there is a right, there is a remedy.
  4. A right cannot arise from a wrong.
  5. Unalienable Rights are non transferable by any means.
  6. One cannot transfer to another a right which he has not.
  7. All things which are of the wife, are independent of the husband. No Man is another’s keeper.
  8. Where there is a right, there is a remedy.
  9. Rights and fraud are incompatible.


  1. All are equal. No equal has power over an equal.
  2. No public right or group right can exist. Individual rights prevail equally.

Conscious understanding

  1. He who questions well, learns well.
  2. He who distinguishes well, learns well.
  3. To know conclusively is to know the reason and cause of a thing.
  4. It avails little to know what ought to be done, if one does not know how it is to be done.
  5. Those things which agree in substance though not in the same words, do not differ.
  6. There is no disputing against or denying principles.
  7. Principles prove, they are not proved.
  8. Proofs ought to be made evident, clear and easy to be understood.
  9. The extremes being proved, intermediate proceedings are presumed.

Consent and Free will

  1. What belongs to us cannot be transferred to another without our consent.
  2. An error not resisted is approved.
  3. Man may damage or incapacitate himself, so commensurably and justly bearing its consequences.
  4. Man may act against himself; judge in his own detrimental cause beforehand.
  5. One cannot complain of having been deceived when he knew the fact and gave his consent.
  6. Consent removes or obviates a mistake.

Truth & Reason

  1. Truth fears nothing but concealment.
  2. He who does not speak the truth, is a traitor to the truth.
  3. When there is no ambiguity in the words, then no exposition contrary to the words is to be made.
  4. To lie is to invalidate the mind and seek acceptance of like deception in the minds of others.

Property & Fruits of Labour

  1. Whatever is affixed to the soil belongs to it.
  2. Whatever is built on the soil is an accessory of the soil.
  3. What is planted in the soil belongs to the soil.
  4. Let every one employ himself in what he knows.
  5. Every one is the manager and disposer of his own.
  6. Chattels that support and uphold life are considered in law among the necessary things.
  7. It is against equity to deprive freeman of the free disposal of their own property.
  8. Things which belong to the person ought not to be separated from the person.
  9. Those things which cannot be acquired as property, cannot be the object of an agreement.


  1. Use your own as not to injure another’s property.
  2. Two cannot possess one thing each in entirety.
  3. He who has a right to give, has the right to dispose of the gift.
  4. Nothing is more conformable to natural equity, than to confirm the will of an owner who desires to transfer his property to another.
  5. No one can give, sell, bequeath, relinquish, abandon or transfer ownership, without rightful ownership
  6. A gift is rendered complete, acknowledged by the possession of the receiver.
  7. He that gives never relinquishes possession until he that receives accepts possession.


  1. The agreement of the parties makes the law of the contract.
  2. When two parties have rights to their property, advantage is always in favour of the rightful owner, until those rights have been relinquished, gifted, or lawfully exchanged.
  3. Consent makes the law. A contract is a law between the parties, which can acquire force only by consent.
  4. By a contract something is permitted, which, without could not be admitted.
  5. No obligation should be dissolved but by the same principles which were observed in contracting it.
  6. A contract cannot arise out of anything but cogent express intent by the parties to act.
  7. No actions arises on a naked contract without an agreed exchange.
  8. No action arises on an immoral contract, or that controverts Natural Law.
  9. In the agreements of the contracting parties, the rule is to regard actions above intentions.
  10. In every contract, there is explicitly stated a mutually agreed exchange of ‘property rights,’ all other consideration denied and/or forbidden.
  11. To write is to act.
  12. A contract founded on unlawful consideration or exchange is null.
  13. Agreement of the parties does not overcome or prevail against Natural Law; all controversy repudiates it.

Ethics & Morality

  1. The principal morality of every controversy is in the action of it.
  2. Intentions are within the law, not law within intentions.
  3. Intention amounts to nothing unless some effect follows.
  4. Not what is said, but what is done, is to be regarded.
  5. He acts prudently who respects the invocations of nature’s laws.
  6. He who acts by or through another, acts for himself.
  7. Speech is an index of the mind. If you judge, understand.
  8. Words are to be taken most strongly against him who uses them.
  9. External actions show internal secrets.
  10. No one is punished for merely thinking of a crime.

Natural Law

  1. All reference to ‘law’ is exclusively to Natural Law. None other shall be considered.
  2. Natural Law always regards the order of nature.
  3. All men are equal before the Natural Law. 
  4. What is lawful in the less, is lawful in the greater.
  5. The law never suffers anything contrary to truth.
  6. Law arises out of fact; whereby its application must be to facts.
  7. No prescription runs against a person unable to act.
  8. Man is invoked to do what Creators law allows that he do and no more.
  9. Ignorance of fact may not excuse, neither ignorance of Natural Law; Natural justice oversees both.
  10. Impossibility does not excuse the law; it affirms it.
  11. Natural Laws consist not in being read, but in being understood, respected and applied.
  12. He who is permitted to do the greater, may with greater reason do the less.
  13. Laws are of Mans Creator, not of words imposed upon things or Man.
  14. Law provides for the future, judgement for the past
  15. The law ought not to fail in dispensing justice.
  16. Law is a rule of right and the dictate of right reason.
  17. Law facilitates the perfection of reason, life sustaining action and remediation of all that is contrary.
  18. The law never works an injury, or does him a wrong.
  19. The law does not fail in showing justice.
  20. The law does not require that it be proved, for its proof is the law. The law calls falsehood to account.
  21. Natural Law rejects superfluous, contradictory and incongruous things. Natural Law always gives a remedy.
  22. Argument drawn from authority abrogates Natural Law.


  1. Whatever is against the rule of right, is a wrong.
  2. A wrong is not presumed.
  3. He who does not willingly speak the truth, is a betrayer of truth.
  4. He who does not forbid what he can forbid, seems to assent.
  5. He who spares the guilty, punishes the innocent.
  6. He who acts fraudulently acts for his own just penalty.
  7. He who first offends, causes the strife.
  8. A wrong is not done to one who knows and wills it.
  9. He ought not to be heard who advances a proposition contrary to the rules of law. 
  10. No man ought to derive any benefit from his own wrong.

Fraud & Deceit

  1. Wilfully concealed fault is equal to deceit.
  2. Out of fraud no action arises but to arrest and remediate it.
  3. Fraud and deceit excuses no action; no Man.
  4. Once a fraud, always a fraud.


  1. Command abrogates Natural Law.
  2. Initiated Violence may never put on the mask of law.
  3. No one should interfere in what no way concerns him.
  4. No one should suffer loss of his property by force so initiated. 

Trespass of Law

  1. To derogate a law is to enact something contrary to it; to abrogate a law, is to violate it.
  2. Violation of Natural Law affords just remedy once transgression is established.
  3. No one can improve his condition by a crime.
  4. No man ought to be burdened in consequence of another’s act.
  5. No one is to be punished for the crime or wrong of another.
  6. Remediation is redress for some wrongful act or default.
  7. No one is bound to accuse himself.
  8. He who commits, confesses.

Proof & Natural Justice

  1. All things are presumed to be done lawfully, until the contrary is proved.
  2. A thing, to be brought to judgment, must be certain or definite.
  3. A confession made in court is of greater effect than any proof.
  4. An issue requires terms of contradiction; that is, there can be no issue without an affirmative on one side and a negative on the other.
  5. Where truth cannot uphold one side of a controversy, there is no truth.
  6. The practice of the court is the just law of nature.
  7. When the question concerns the life or death of a man, no delay is too long to admit of inquiring into facts.
  8. Spoil ought to be restored before anything else.
  9. The claimant is always bound to prove.
  10. The burden of the proof lies upon him who affirms, not he who denies.
  11. The necessity of proving, lies with him who makes the charge.

Judges & Justice

  1. Where there is no authority to enforce, there is no authority to obey.
  2. Where there is no principal there is no accessory.
  3. No obedience is due a judge who exceeds his office or jurisdiction. 
  4. Judgments ought not to be illusory, rather to have consequence.
  5. A judgment said to be respectful of truth, may not necessarily be.
  6. Where no deed is committed, no consequence arrises.
  7. Justice is not to be denied nor delayed; no parentage applies.
  8. Sentence is not given upon a thing which is not clear.

Restoration & remediation

  1. When proofs of facts are present, what need is there of words.
  2. Whosever transgresses another’s rights agrees the service of justice; rightfully to be remediated and justly ordered to recompense his victim.
  3. The heir succeeds to the restitution, not the penalty.
  4. Measure of restitution and remediation should be proportion to the measure of crime.
  5. Satisfaction should be made to that fund which has sustained the loss.
  6. When transgression is multiplied, let the infliction of restoration be increased.
  7. Let the punishment be proportioned to the crime.
  8. The last will of a testator is to be fulfilled according to his true intention.


1 Form that controverts natural order or Natural Law is null; void abinitio.

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© Ken Bartle 2016