18 Mar

#9 When is Law Legitimate? 12 Criteria for Discerning

In this episode, we ask the question “When is law legitimate?” and describe the following twelve criteria for discerning the legitimacy of any particular law:

1. A law must fulfill its functions.
2. A law must not be contrary to moral principles.
3. A law must be prescribed by a legitimate governing authority.
4. A law must be knowable.
5. A law must be understandable.
6. A law must be specific.
7. A law must be practical to enforce and to determine when it has been broken.
8. A law must not contradict a higher law nor undermine it’s own foundation.
9. A law must not exceed the jurisdiction of the governing body or its legal foundation.
10. A law must be logical and grounded in reality.
11. A law must be necessary.
12. A law must not be retroactive.

We use logic and syllogisms and referenced paragraph 1894 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.