Rule according to higher law
The rule according to a higher law means that no law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain universal principles (written or unwritten) of fairness, morality, and justice. Thus, the rule according to a higher law may serve as a practical legal criterion to qualify the instances of political or economical decision-making, when a government, even though acting in conformity with clearly defined and properly enacted legal rules, still produces results which many observers find unfair or unjust. "Higher law" can be interpreted in this context as the divine or natural law or basic legal values, established in the international law, Ц the choice depending on the viewpoint. But this is definitely a Law above the law. And it is in this capacity that it possesses the equal legal value for both the common and civil law jurisdictions, as opposed to natural law which is largely associated with common law. "To recognize the necessary connection between the rule of law as an ideal and well-constructed constitutional government does not and should not be taken to imply that all states can or should mantain the same constitutional structures in practice". The rule according to higher law is a practical approach to the implementation of the higher law theory which creates a bridge of mutual understanding (with regard to universal legal values) between the English language doctrine of the rule of law, traditional for the countries of common law, and the originally German doctrine of Rechtsstaat, translated into other anguages of continental Europe as Etat de droit (Fr.), Estado de derecho (Sp.), Stato di diritto (It.), and ѕравовое государство (Ru.). The latter doctrine is the product of continental European legal thought which had adopted it from German legal philosophy. Its name can be translated into English as Уlegal stateФ or "state of law" or "state of rights" or "constitutional state" Ц consistently meaning the state in which the exercise of governmental power is kept in check by the higher law rather than by the changeable law established by this state. Amartya Sen mentioned that the legal theorists in ancient India used term of classical Sanscrit "nyaya" in the sense of not just a matter of judging institutions and rules, but of judging the societies themselves. Divine law is any law that, according to religious belief, comes directly from the will of God, in contrast to man-made law. Like natural law (which may be seen as a manifestation of divine law) it is independent of the will of man, who cannot change it. However it may be revealed or not, so it may change in human perception in time through new revelation. Divine law is eternal law, meaning that since God is infinite, then his law must also be infinite and eternal. In Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on Law, divine law, as opposed to natural law, comes only from revelation or scripture, hence biblical law, and is necessary for human salvation. According to Aquinas, divine law must not be confused with natural law. Divine law is mainly and mostly natural law, but it can also be positive law.