This small treatise has been inspired by the debate on the following subject:

There is some Eternal Law. It's good for all times and places.

authored by Antony Denisov, Moscow State University Law School

An idea of an Eternal Law dates back to ancient times. We can find it in the writings of ancient Greek wise men. For instance, Plato and Aristotle mentioned 'Logos', an all-embracing law according to which the Universe exists. Famous philosopher and theologian Thomas Acquinsky, while classifying laws, distinguished the 'Eternal Law'. In his opinion this Law was the Divine Mind itself. The idea of eternal law was a key element in the Natural Law Theory.

Nevertheless it is obvious that the idea of an Eternal Law has as many opponents as supporters. People live in different environmental conditions, in different states. Moreover, all spheres of human life are the subject to change and development. There is a great distance of time between primitive agricultural tools of a Babylonian peasant and a modern space ship. Eastern despotism, typical of ancient Egypt, seems to have nothing in common with modern democratic governments. In contemporary European countries every individual is guaranteed a lot of rights and liberties. In Ancient Rome, on the contrary, slaves could be easily deprived of their lives just for fun. So it might seem strange that legal norms suitable and adequate for all circumstances could still exist. Even such universal rules as "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal" weren't effective at all times. It was natural for many tribes to kill weak members of their community, usually children and old men. And the pillage of a place taken by storm was regarded as the universal wartime law by soldiers for many centuries.

It is a general knowledge that everything consists of essence and its manifestations. We couldn't find Eternal Law in legal manifestations, or rules of behavior. But this doesn't mean that there is no Eternal Law in an essence of law. Such eternal essence is a law of solidarity, social compromise. This might seem rather controversial. What solidarity could there be between the slaves and slave owners in Ancient Rome? Roman law tells us nothing about this solidarity. But it is important to mention that only Roman citizens were considered to be full-blooded race at that time. And a slave was determined as 'res vocale'.

The further human civilization developed the more people were involved in relations of solidarity. Solidarity began to spread over the whole population of a country. And nowadays relations of solidarity have started to spread over all human beings. So there is the Eternal Law - the law of solidarity. It can be manifested in different ways. But all of them strive to express the idea of solidarity as fully as a specific age allows.

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