Integrative Legal Theory

Integrative Legal Theory: Human Rights

In Professor Berman's Book Faith and Order, The Reconciliation of Law and Religion he details that natural law, legal positivism, and historical jurisprudence should be integrated. And, that this integration should guide the development of law. Also, It should be noted that this article is primarily from a class I took with Professor Lindevaldsen at Liberty University School of Law.

Integration of Legal Theory:

“All that needs to be subtracted from each of the three major schools of jurisprudence [Positivism, Naturalism, Historicism], in order to integrate them, is its assertion of its own supremacy,” essentially working together.[1]  Correspondingly, to say “that we are at the end of one era and at the beginning of another,” I believe is a correct assertion. [2] Unfortunately, those enforcing the law have always had their bad apples. What we are coming into today is an entirely different legal analysis. It is a deviation from the biblical standard and needs to be course corrected.


Accordingly, a Contemporary legal issue in the United States, is the decision to not be a part of the International Criminal Court or only selectively adopt parts of the United Nations laws.[3] Certainly, integrative Jurisprudence is primary to understanding this assertion and the cornerstone to it. Because as humanity evolves, a world order is bound to come to power, that has been our lineage.

Empires rise and fall and, each time a new millennium comes, the empires that rise to power are ever so much larger than in previous history. Though it is looking like the United Nations will be a dominate world order, a substantial world war could quickly change that, just like what happened to the League of Nations. Consequently, for this “world law” to work Positivism (making, interpreting, and applying law) must be considered with Naturalism (morality, justice) and those can only properly formulate our future through an understanding and application of Historicism (using the past to develop the future).[4]

Human Rights:

Historical experiences of the community must be taken into account when considering human rights covenants.[5] “The Golden Rule-which is the rule of equality, to treat all others with equal respect…” is really the basis of a lot of our laws and the legal system in general, it is at the basis of positivism, naturalism and what developed as historicism.[6] And, each of the schools of theory must be used, to dismiss one and only use the others would be a to enact a prejudice.

Biblical Standard:

These theory’s fall well within the Christian Biblical Worldview. The Golden Rule is almost verbatim repeated in scripture. For example, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Also, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Furthermore, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” My personal Favorite is “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”[7]

All of the foregoing pertains to the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice because, how can the United States(the most powerful country in the world) expect other nations to respect the United Nations yet exclude itself from its primary judiciary branch? The ethical standard for attorneys is also different under international law. The standard is higher then the current practice within the United States.

[1] Harold J. Berman, Faith and Order, The Reconciliation of Law and Religion p.310 (John Witte, Jr. 1993).

[2] Id. at 309


[4] Berman, supra note 1, at 283

[5] Id. at 282

[6] Id. at 285

[7] Luke 6:31 (King James); Matthew 7:12 (King James); Philippians 2:4 (King James); Ephesians 4:32 (King James).

Human Rights Attorney

Chris White Lawyer, LLC. is a Lynchburg, Virginia Law Firm. Available for consultations in person, via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or phone (434) 660-9701. Please also check out my practice areas in Criminal Defense Attorney and Car Accident Lawyer. At my Law Firm we focus on the best result for the client. To stay connected I have a Youtube , InstagramFacebookTwitter, LinkedInTumblr, BloggerRedditYelpAvvo and Justia.

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