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Programs in Law, Culture and Democracy

The Institute’s programs in Law, Culture & Democracy allow participants to learn not only the law but also what undergirds it, finding the sources of law not just in politics and court decisions, but also in history, human nature, and the moral order of the universe.  From this starting point, we distinguish between liberties and rights, and we recognize the need for society to protect human rights that flow from the dignity of the human person — rights foundational to any society.

Veritas et iustitia
One word more than any other is inscribed on libraries and other academic buildings across the United States: veritas – truth.  History demonstrates that truth is accessible to all who honestly seek it.  IUSLAW stands for the proposition that scholars and all others must be fearless in the pursuit of truth – the same truth that is vital to the formation of just societies and that is the very foundation of the Rule of Law.  Such a tradition safeguards the dignity of the human person and the common good.  It affirms the need for society to rediscover those human and moral truths that flow from the nature of the human person and that protect human freedom.  It allows for distinctions between inalienable rights and positive rights. Finally, it recognizes the limits of government and understands the need for checks and balances within the government. Truth is indeed the cornerstone of Justice.

The Foundations
Participants in IUSLAW’s programs in Law, Culture & Democracy study the American legal system, its historical and philosophical roots, and its relationship to and place in Western legal thought.  Through this investigation, participants learn the vital role that law plays in what the nation’s Founders called the American experiment in ordered liberty.  With special attention given to the U.S. common law tradition, participants learn the law and its foundations, and acquire a deeper understanding of the American legal system’s unique contribution to law and society.