Law & Justice
The earth is the common property of the human race, and of every living thing.
Some laws, though unwritten, are more firmly established than all written laws.
The precept of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one, and to give every man his due.
Liberty consists in the power to do anything that does not injure others; accordingly, the exercise of the rights of man has no limits except to secure to the other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits may be determined only by law.
The most universal and effectual way of discovering the true meaning of law, when the words are dubious, is by considering the reason and spirit of it; or the cause which moved the legislator to enact it.
When the reason for the law ceases, the law itself ought likewise to cease.
Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world.
The good of the people is the highest law.
The only purpose for which power can rightly be exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
Law and order make rough things smooth, stop insolence, weaken violence, wither the growing blooms of sin, straighten the crooked judgments, calm arrogant deeds, stops deeds of dissension, and stop the anger of painful strife. Through law and order, all man's affairs are suitable and prudent.
Democracies are usually the best calculated to direct the end of law; aristocracies to invent the means by which that end shall be obtained; and monarchies to carry those means into execution.
It is better to prevent crimes than to punish them.
The strictest justice is sometimes the greatest injustice.
Every man being presumed innocent until he is pronounced guilty.
Laws are like cobwebs, for if any trifling or powerless thing fall into them they hold it fast, while if it were something weightier it would break through them and be off.
It is better that ten guilty escape than that one innocent suffer.
Truth is the summit of being; justice is the application of it to affairs.
Justice is truth is action.
Kindness is greater than law.
When an inferior man intends to injure a gentleman, his heart is cruel, his plans are well laid out, and his actions firm; therefore the gentleman can seldom escape. When a gentleman intends to punish a criminal, his heart is kind, his plans incomplete, and he cannot go the limit; therefore more often than not he himself is victimized.
A man having lost his ax suspected his neighbor's son of haven taken it. Certain peculiarities in his gait, his countenance, and his speech marked him as a thief. In his actions, his movements, and in fact his whole demeanor it was plainly written that he and no other had stolen the ax. The next day, while in the woodshed, he discovered the missing ax under some firewood. Later when he saw his neighbor's son again, he could find no trace of the guilt in his speech, actions, or movements that he saw the day before.
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