Love is impossible without law

From – Lawyers Weekly (Thanks to Tim O’Dwyer for referring us to this item)

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If The Beatles are to be believed, “All You Need Is Love”. This isn’t quite true, says one ANU law lecturer – besides love, he says, there is law.

According to Dr Joshua Neoh, who is an associate professor at the ANU College of Law, a common life would be impossible without the common law. In short, the law unites us in this common life, he posits, and saves us from ourselves.

“Without the authority of law, we would be at the constant risk of collapsing back into the state of war, where no humane relationships could ever survive, let alone relationships of love. Law stabilises social relations and makes the condition of love possible,” Dr Neoh explains.

Dr Neoh is the author of a new book – Law, Love and Freedom – which argues that the law does not just enable love, it may itself be an expression of love.

Submission to the authority of law is an expression of the love of neighbour. The authority of law unites individuals and binds them together in a community. In a complex society with its coordination problems, the only way of expressing the love of neighbour is through obedience to the authoritative plan for the common good, which we call law,” Dr Neoh told Lawyers Weekly.

“At times, I may disagree with the law, but in matters where a collective decision has to be made, my submission to the collective judgment as embodied in the law, in spite of my disagreement with it, is an expression of my desire to continue living with my fellow citizens in the one community.”

The nexus between law, love and freedom

Law is not just about a set of rules, he continued. It is a “value that is connected to a whole set of other values”, he submitted, which – when put together – makes up what we collectively understand to be a “good life”.

In drawing such a conclusion, Dr Neoh recalled that he explored three key values for his book: law, love and freedom.

For the rest of this item go to: Love is impossible without the law

oOo

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