chapter  11
26 Pages

The Promulgation of Law

WithGilbert Bailey

"The impression of an inward principle," asserted Thomas Aquinas, "is to natural things what the promulgation of law is to men; because law, by being promulgated, impresses on man a directive principle of human actions." The practice of promulgating law by the public exhibition of codes was almost universal among ancient legal systems. Since each of the theories carries with it the presumption of legal knowledge consequent upon promulgation, the five methods of promulgation mentioned above may each be cast in terms of a distinct legal presumption: god and reason, custom, publication, constructive presence, consequent on reform. Law is nothing more than a body of preexisting moral principles which everyone may be presumed to know, since God promulgates them by engraving them on the hearts of men. The idea of promulgation was conditioned again by the civil law maxim that assent of all those concerned, omnium utentium, was necessary to give legal force to a measure.