Such exceptions are all the nlore likely to occt tr

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Such exceptions are all the nlore likely to occt-tr the more lve get clown to particular cases. 'fhe more specialiseC the conditions ipptied, the grezlter is the poslbiXit_v of an exception arising .. ., ! I Since the nature of humut ^.tivity may change, it may happen tirat'in some particular case, or in u li-ited nuniber of instances,, natural larv, in its more detailed workings out, may chanse. Thus things mav be adde'c to, or subtracted fiorn, the bocly of the law. But r'vith regard to first principles, 'it is wholly unchangeairle,. . I1t a petssage of crucial irnportance St Thomas eiplziins the relationship befivee n man-madb law and natural law. F{e ,ays,z8 ,St Ar"rgustine says "There is no lar,v unless it bejust".?!,So, the validity of law depencJ's upon itsjustice. But in human affairs a thing is said to be jttt when it accotgt aright with the rule of reason: and, as we have aireadli seen, the first t,rl. of reason is the natural law. Thus all liunranly enacted laws are in accorcl with reasor] to tlle extent that therr derive from the natural law. And if a human law is at variattce in an,v particular with the natural traw, it is no longer tregal, but rather a corruption of law.' This raises the questior, if a human traw conflicts with natural lalv, and thr]s 'is ito longer legal' (or as we might express the matter tod:rv, it iacks" validi,y) does tLir rnean that i citizen may in Eood conscience disobey it? can he saf, 'For me, this is notlaw,? In answering this qtrestior, St Tho*tr explains that law rnay be unjust, bv lvhich he me ans in conflict with ,roi,rrol law, in one of- trwo ways. First, 'b,v being contrzrry to human goocl, through being opposed to the thinqs mentione d above - eittr*l"in respect of the e'd, as when 28 Qu g? .{rt 2. Transl:rrect-i G Dar,r,son. 29 1 Dc Lib Arl;itrio 5. Development cf natural faw thinking 69 an authoriry inrposes cn his sub-jects burdensorrle laws, conclucive, not to the comrnon gooC, }:ut rather to ]ris own cr,rpiclif or vainglcw; or in respect of the author, &s r,vtrren a rnan makes a law that goes beyond the power conlxrlitted to him. The nike ax e acts of violence rather than laws, brecause, as Augustine sa)is: "A lalv that is notjust, seerns to be no larv at a11." \A,iherefore such lar,vs do not bincl in conscience, except perhaps in order to avoicl scanCal or disturbance for which cause a rnan should e\ren vietrd his right ... ,, 'secondly, laws may bs unjtrst through being opposed. to fhe divine good: such are the larvs of wrants inCucins to idolatry or to anything else contrary to tire Cir,ine larv; and laws cf this tr<inct mtust nowise be obsen,ed because, as stateC ir-l Acts rt 29, "t,t,e oughL to obey God rather than lTlen".' So if a ruler makes a larv that conflicts r,vith natttral law, f,or exampie a lzrw that peopie's negal rights ancl econornic entittrements slrould var:}/ according to the colour of their skin, then notrvithstanding the law's injustice, the lart' s}'roulci not be disobeyed, Since of greater irnport than the validiff or int'alidiw of- the lar.v is the need to avoid ciisturbance.
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