Study Cards on freedom, law, society

Why is the central purpose of law to protect freedom?
- Personal and social development : Law and freedom are intrinsically related. Freedom is only possible 'under the law' but, at the same time, the sphere of law should not extend beyond the protection of freedom (otherwise the law is non-legitimate).

- Fundamental freedoms: Human rights are fundamental rights. They cannot be traded or taken away.
Why is the central purpose of law not to protect freedom?
- Order over freedom: Law exists to uphold order. By widening freedom, order can be put at risk. (Liberals: humans can be trusted, because they are rational and moral).

- Enforcing morality: unrestrained freedom may damage the fabric of society. There is a 'public morality' which society has the right to enforce through the instrument of law. Underlying this position is the belief that society is held together by a 'shared' morality, a fundamental belief of what is good and what is evil. Morality is top important to be left to the individual.

Why is international law 'soft' and not 'hard' law?
It is not backed by a system of coercion and punishment that ensures enforcement.
How is international law usually obeyed?
reciprocity: mutual exchange.
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