Natural Laws are determined by nature and are hence universal. This is an unwritten set of principles against which human conduct may be evaluated and governed as in contradiction to Positive law which comprises of written rules and laws that are imposed by the governing authority. Adherents to natural law are called as Naturalists.
According to the Naturalists, natural laws exist irrespective of the fact whether the governing authority recognizes them or not. Hence, the authority should integrate natural laws in the legal framework before justice can be realized.
Natural law can be explained by a simple example like Impartiality of Judges (Thomas Hobbes, 17th century). This law is universally acceptable across the world since customs and culture cannot influence it. Positive law may be like speed limits that are set by the governing authority and may differ from place to place as well as time to time.
There are three different schools of Natural Law Theory:
• Divine Natural Law: Revealed or inspired by God or any supreme being – religious scriptures.
• Secular Natural Law: Inspired by the physical, behavioral and biological observations – evolved through reason and intelligence.
• Historical Natural Law: Evolved through time depending on the culture.