If you are looking for a brief introduction to the differences between common law and natural law, then you have come to the right place. Common law has been around for centuries, but natural law is much less commonly discussed. It is often referred to as “manifest nonsense” and therefore is rarely discussed in legal reports or practitioners’ manuals. While it is generally accepted that natural law is more reliable than common law, it is still a controversial topic, and advocates of legal positivism have generally avoided including it in these publications.
The difference between natural law and common law is primarily one of definitions. Natural law is the rule of conduct that humans are compelled to follow due to their dependent status. Common law refers to the rules that govern human behavior. But natural law can be subject to exceptions, as it does, and it can be passed over in favor of other interests. One notable example of this is the work of Stewart Kyd, who wrote the first book on company law in England. This work is indicative of the fervor of natural law thinking in England.
The medieval teleological view was criticized in the seventeenth century. Thomas Hobbes, an economist, developed legal positivism based on the concept of natural law. He claimed that if the ruler were going against the natural law, the people would revolt and overthrow their government. But this view is now considered outdated, as modern law is more flexible and adaptable than natural law. That is why, for example, the United States Supreme Court adopted the Natural Law in 2001.