The introduction first presents the book’s metaethical position: a realistic self-reflective legal and moral “code relativism” that combines the insight into the theoretical impossibility of offering an absolute moral truth with the practical necessity of not succumbing to an “anything goes” attitude. Code relativism, so the argument goes, is entirely compatible with a claim to universal jurisdiction. While the normative analysis in the book does not depend on this metaethical stance, the latter nevertheless further supports another point argued in the introduction, namely that widely accepted laws and hence also common sense are partly constitutive of valid morality. This also explains why the book frequently refers to actually existing law, not just to armchair intuitions, and why the account it presents is context-sensitive and allows for considerable legitimate variations in the laws and ethics of different liberal societies. The last part of the introduction gives an overview of the structure of the book.