ESTABLISH JUSTICE

The Imperative of Legal System for Noahides includes the requirement to set up courts of Justice, and to refrain from any action that would lead to an unjust court decision. Just what are the implications of the Noahide imperative on Justice (Dinim) is the subject of dispute among major authors. On the one hand, authorities like Maimonides says: "They are obligated to set up judges and magistrates in every major city to judge according to the above six laws, to warn the nation [regarding their observance]" which seems to imply that the courts need only uphold the first six laws. Other authorities like Nachmanides disagree, and envision an entire legal system. Still other authorities give the national courts complete freedom to legislate anything as long as it doesn't contradict the seven laws.

The consensus of halacha today is not like Maimonides, but that the non-Jews are free to set up their own system of laws as long as they don't disagree with the seven basic laws. The consensus of halacha today is that the existing national court systems are at least in part Noahide courts; that failing to uphold all seven noahide laws does not invalidate the national court as a Noahide court; that Noahides can fulfill their requirement of the Imperative of Legal System through these courts. The major disagreement among poskim today is if there is any value to the judgments of these national courts beyond their utilitarian value.

Noahide Law is a legal system that encompasses, and is the root of all proper religion and society. Noahide Law does not recognize a distinction between religion and state in terms of law, but contains them both. Most national courts have broken, to various degrees, with any sense of divine sanction for Law, and any attempt to approximate of Divine Law. This is slowly being replaced with a utilitarian, popular law, where legality is defined by majority vote of the population.

The 7 Laws of Noah According to

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Lichtenstein;

[14 Negative, 5 Positive]

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  1. “To appoint judges and officers in each and every community.”

    Positive Mitzvah 176
    Deuteronomy 16:18 “Appoint judges and officers in all your gates”

  2. “To treat the litigants equally before the law.”

    Positive Mitzvah 177
    Leviticus 19:15 “With righteousness, judge your neighbor”

  3. “To inquire diligently into the testimony of a witness.”

    Positive Mitzvah 179
    Deuteronomy 13:15 “Then you shall inquire, search, and ask diligently”

  4. “Against the wanton miscarriage of justice by the court.”

    Negative Mitzvah 273
    Leviticus 19:15 “You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment”

  5.  “Against the judge accepting a bribe or gift from a litigant.”

    Negative Mitzvah 274
    Exodus 23:8 “And you shall take no bribe”

  6. “Against the judge showing marks of honour to but one litigant.”

    Negative Mitzvah 275
    Leviticus 19:15 “Nor honor an important person”

  7. “Against the judge acting in fear of a litigant’s threats.”

    Negative Mitzvah 276
    Deuteronomy 1:17 “You shall not be afraid because of any man”

  8. “Against the judge, out of compassion, favouring a poor litigant.”

    Negative Mitzvah 277
    Exodus 23:3 “You shall not favor a poor man in his cause”

  9. “Against the judge discriminating against the litigant because he is a sinner.”

     Negative Mitzvah 278
    Exodus 23:6 “You shall not pervert the judgment of the needy in his cause”

  10. “Against the judge, out of softness, putting aside the penalty of a mauler or killer.”

    Negative Mitzvah 279
    Deuteronomy 19:21 “And your eye shall not have pity”

  11. “Against the judge discriminating against a stranger or an orphan.”

    Negative Mitzvah 280
    Deuteronomy 24:17 “You shall not pervert the judgment of the stranger or the or the orphan”

  12. “Against the judge hearing one litigant in the absence of another.”

    Negative Mitzvah 281
    Exodus 23:1 “You shall not raise a false report”

  13. “Against appointing a judge who lacks knowledge of the Law.”

    Negative Mitzvah 284
    Deuteronomy 1:17 “Do not respect persons in judgment”

  14. “Against incrimination by circumstantial evidence.”

    Negative Mitzvah 290
    Exodus 23:7 “And the innocent and righteous you shall not slay”

  15. “Against punishing for a crime committed under duress.”

    Negative Mitzvah 294
    Deuteronomy 22:26 “But to the girl you shall do nothing”

  16. “That the court is to administer the death penalty by the sword [i.e., decapitation].”

    Positive Mitzvah 226
    Exodus 21:20 “[The sin] shall surely be avenged”

  17. “Against anyone taking the law into his own hands to kill the perpetrator of a capital crime.”

    Negative Mitzvah 292
    Numbers 35:12 “The murderer shall not die until he stands before the congregation in judgment”

  18. “To testify in court.”

    Positive Mitzvah 178
    Leviticus 5:1 “And he is witness, whether he has seen or known of it”

  19. “Against testifying falsely.”

    Negative Mitzvah 285
    Exodus 20:13 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”

Especially now in these turbulent times, when so many people everywhere feel pressured and unsettled as a result of the global financial crisis, it is more important than ever to focus on the most important part of life: the spiritual integrity of human beings before G-d and the desire of the Creator to bestow all blessings on humanity through the full and complete redemption. At the same time, for the sake of children and youth around the world, it is critical that the representatives of the nations affirm and commit publicly to the basic premise, that people respect the very core fabric of life given by the Creator, which the Seven Universal Laws of Noah represent.  - Rabbi YD Kohen