It is common that the current complex world of justice leads us to believe that positive law that is the set of rules governing the conduct of men of a community is a recent creation. The truth is that its first manifestations would have to track them down and in the dark times of prehistory, in the way that our distant ancestors did assert their rights, sometimes from reciprocity in societies governed by kinship, other by mandate of the elders of the tribe or clan and others by the divine imperative.
Two features characterize the law as we know from all eras. Acceptance by the community that they need to adapt their behavior to a set of provisions. Another characteristic is the emergence of disciplinary power that has the power of coercion on those who transgress.
In the history of civilizations, it has been an ongoing effort to support the power of the legislature to enact laws and the authority to sanction non-compliance. Western philosophers and jurists of various times have agreed that there was a natural law above the positive law. They understand that there is a set of universal and immutable principles. Such fundamentals would be an expression of transcendent justice whether divine or human. That rule is expressed in the image of the physical world, the universe of morality and society. However, this foundation of law has attuned to the evolution of Western society. During feudalism, the positive law was a reflection of the eternal law governing the order of Creation. However, in the context of the bourgeois revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, natural law emerged to be more prominent. Natural law derived from human reason and their rights of freedom and equality emerged from the formal legitimacy of positive law. Such philosophy is reflected in the “Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen” of 1789.
Today, many writers still hold the naturalist origin of law, although admitting an extremely wide and variable content. There is a momentum that tends to substantiate the legitimacy of positive law. The movement arises from the need to articulate human societies from the beginning ethics and the groups which have decided to conform to restrictions and rules. The law is thus essential for the regulation of social relations and peaceful coexistence instrumental dimension.