The fact that law has a university standing is only due to an ancient tradition.
In the excellent TV series “Idévärlden”, a campaign poster was shown in which Torne Lagmann steps on Saif. The message was that the law is above the authority of rulers and their arbitrariness. This is how you think it should be as many people think – we read in school about Montesquieu and the principle of distributing power. But how is this basically done? Is the authority subject to the law or vice versa?
Laws are enacted by those in power, whether it is a democratically elected institution or a dictator. And in order to obey the laws, there must be some force controlling it. Otherwise, the legislation is not sounding. So it is quite clear and indisputable that the law is the extended arm of force.
Unlike the laws of nature, the laws that humans establish can change indefinitely as opinions and values change. They are not universal or legally binding in any way but are arbitrary human creations. Laws are often based on religious or other societal values. For example, for the same act, depending on the country you are in, you could be stoned, attacked, arrested, deported, rehabilitated, or forgiven. In many cases, the financial interests that affect the legislation differ.
Laws can be interpreted in different ways. We see this clearly when cases move from a lower court to a higher court. In other words, law is an arbitrary interpretation of arbitrarily added laws and regulations. A prominent writer on Helsingin Sanomat, referred to by Anu Koivunen in his “Today” column (HBL 15.4), wrote about “the essence of science” and mentioned disciplines far from it. The law was not mentioned.
Legislation is greatly influenced by public values and ideologies. Lawyers need to know a number of stressful paragraphs oftentimes and because of the knowledge and power it provides in relation to ordinary citizens, they generally have a high reputation. But the fact that the law has a university standing is only due to an ancient tradition. It is not a science!
Jean-Eric Engvall Helsinki