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  • A Unified Theory of a Law

    This module is included inLens: John Bosco's Lens
    By: John Bosco

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The Legal Literacy Project

Module by: John Bosco. E-mail the author

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo

     
We do not understand the laws that govern us. Yet, oddly, we are expected to obey them. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" is the cliché cited by eminent legal scholars to bridge the gap between obedience and ignorance. Surely in a just world laws whose meaning is vague, dubious or hidden would not be used against the citizenry. The policy of pretend and punish is indeed a harsh justice. Pretend that the citizenry understands a law when, in fact, it does not and then punish it when it violates the law. As harsh as the policy of pretend and punish is, it is the policy in practice in America today. There are so many laws so poorly written on our law books that even the lawmakers, lawyers and judges themselves do not understand them!

     
The rule of law is an ideal put on a pedestal and worshiped by legal scholars. It is viewed as a solution to the problem of power and man's tendency to abuse it. The theory is that we can enmesh ourselves within a web of laws and, thereby, limit power be it sovereign power, the power of wealth, the power of might or any other type of power. A web of laws, the theory postulates, is the antidote to tyranny. There is one problem with this theory. Laws that mean nothing can be interpreted to mean anything. When our laws have little or no meaning, the power of tyrants is delivered into the hands of those who interpret our laws. The rule of law deteriorates into the rule of men any time a country's law are vapid of meaning

     
Moreover, contributing to the confusion that surrounds the meaning of our laws is an embarrassing legal secret: many with formal legal training are themselves only semi-literate in our laws and just pretend otherwise. Time and again, they fail my legal literacy test (To take it click here).

     
To safeguard our lives, our liberty, our property and our pursuit of happiness it is necessary for all of us to achieve legal literacy. We cannot afford to be illiterate about our laws. The rule of law is an admirable ideal necessary to protect us from the abuse of unbridled power. However, it is a mere Potemkin platitude when the meaning of our laws transcends the understanding of the ordinary citizen.

     
In the past it has been thought that legal literacy was difficult to attain. A wall of monopoly has been built around legal understanding. Lawyers guard its gates and we cannot get in. Daunted, the ordinary citizen has retreated from the field of law.

     
Until now.

     
A shortcut to legal literacy has been discovered.

Thomas Jefferson said:

I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power. --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:278

     
The purpose of the Legal Literacy project is "to inform the discretion" of "the people themselves" "by education" in legal literacy. Legal understanding ought to be within the grasp of each citizen not beyond it.

     
The meaning of our laws has been obscured with unintelligible legalese and legal mumbo jumbo. I do not subscribe to the theory that lawyers obscure the meaning of our laws intentionally in a misguided effort to preserve their monopoly over legal understanding. Instead I believe that the meaning of our laws is hidden in a cloud of fuzziness because the model of a law inside the heads of our lawmakers, legal thinkers, lawyers, and judges does not generate a fair and accurate representation of a law but only a poor, low fidelity, approximation.

     
We have lost our way to legal understanding. A map is needed to show us the way back. Such a map has been discovered. The map is the doctrine called A Unified Theory of a Law. It is the idea whose time has come and cannot be resisted. The Legal Literacy Project is promoting A Unified Theory of a Law as the shortcut to legal literacy for anybody - lawyer and non lawyer alike. The Legal Literacy Project is trying to spread the word that anyone can achieve legal literacy not in the three years it takes to complete law school but in less than three hours - the time it takes to learn A Unified Theory of a Law.

     
It is now possible for an ordinary citizen to perfect his or her understanding of a law so that it equals the understanding of a legal genius!

     
"Preposterous!" is the first reaction especially of lawyers to what appears on its face to be a wildly extravagant claim.

     
Yet, I stand by my claim. I can offer the understanding of a legal genius to the ordinary citizen because an epiphany has occurred and a revolution in legal understanding has taken place.

     
It has been discovered that a law, like uranium, is fissile. It can be broken down into two components
  • its words and
  • its framework.
     
The particular words change from law to law; but the general framework of a law always stays the same. Like the DNA of a cell, the general framework repeats itself over and over again in every instance of a law. While all have taken notice of the words of a law, knowledge of the framework of a law is still rare. A law's general framework and particular words exist independently of each other. Yet, to generate a law's meaning, both its words and its framework cooperate. Anyone who wishes to push meaning into or pull meaning out of a law must be mindful of a law's framework. Any failure to respect the framework of a law generates inscrutable legalese and legal misunderstanding

     
A Unified Theory of a Law exposes for your scrutiny and consideration the general framework of a law before it is adorned, decorated and embellished with particular words. (For a summary of the general framework of a law, see the Periodic Table of the Elements of a Law) Because the general framework exists within all of our laws, an understanding of it is the shortcut to an understanding of any of our laws.

     
A law, when properly understood, is akin to a cow that gives the same quantity of milk no matter who does the milking. A legal genius can milk a law for no more meaning than the ordinary citizen who understands A Unified Theory of a Law.

     
Give me no more than three of your hours, learn A Unified Theory of a Law and, in return, your legal understanding shall be perfected.

     
To begin your journey to legal literacy, click here

John Bosco
Project Director
The Legal Literacy Project.

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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