By Roscoe Pound
This criminal advisor is a written model of lectures added ahead of the legislations college of Yale collage as Storrs Lectures within the university yr 1921-1922.
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In form it rested on the legislative power of the Roman people, supplemented by a mere interpretation of the legislative command with only the authority of customary acceptance. In Greek phrase it rested on convention and enactment. The second purported to be the rules observed by civilized peoples, and on points of commercial law may well have been an approximation thereto. Apart from this, however, according to ancient ideas of personal law, the rules which obtained among civilized peoples were eminently a proper law to apply between citizen and non-citizen.
In substance they were questions of a general constitutional law which transcended the text; of whether the enactment before the court conformed to principles of natural law "running back of all constitutions" and inherent in the very idea of a government of limited powers set up by a free people. Now that courts with few exceptions have given over this mode of thinking and the highest court in the land has come to apply the limitations of the fifth and fourteenth amendments as legal standards, there are some who say that we no longer have a constitutional law.
In the meantime in political theory, at least, many of them were the agreements of Athenian citizens as to how they should conduct themselves in the inevitable clashes of interests in everyday life. What was needed above all was some theory of the authority of law which should impose bonds of reason upon those who enacted, upon those who applied and upon those who were subject to law in such an amorphous legal order. A sure basis of authority resting upon something more stable than human will and the power of those who govern to impose their will for the time being was required also for the problem of social control in the Greek city-state.