Who makes the law?

Perry E. Metzger (perry@piermont.com)
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 12:54:03 -0400

> From: Hagbard Celine <hagbard@ix.netcom.com>
> I am definitely missing something.
> How can an anarchist speak of law or legal systems?

Easily. Many places and times have operated without states but with
legal systems. Law does not require a State, any more than building
roads or delivering mail requires a State.

In medieval Europe, commercial law was entirely developed in private
courts without any power of state based enforcement behind them -- and
yet it worked well, and the Lex Mercatoria is the basis for all modern
commercial law.

In medieval Iceland, there was no "public" law enforcement at all --
all law enforcement was private. And yet, there was law.

If you want to learn more on this topic, I suggest "The Machinery of
Freedom" by Friedman and "The Enterprise of Law" by Benson as good
starting points.