Summary definition

Laws are a social invention that encourage contributions from individuals to the group’s problem solving processes. Like the other Qualities, Laws are entirely social inventions and manifest on a Maslovian scale from physical to self actualising in which the physical safety of individuals is protected at the bottom end and participation enabled at the upper end of the scale.

Law is the mirror of Freedom and in a group the two qualities are inextricably bound to each other. The quality of the Law has direct baring on the Safety of the individual and the general safety of all, as well as formalising the rights of individuals to Participate and obligations to acquiesce to decisions taken by the group.

Legal systems are the first institutions of society. To be effective they must be blind to diversity of the individuals, universal in their application and unyielding in their assertion.


The positive experience of the Quality of Law is Participation. Participation in the definition of problems and participation in the selection of ideas for implementation are key aspects of the Agency that Law creates.

Participation requires that the individuals feel safe to make their contribution and that requires that they are able to enter and exit the public arena without fear for their personal safety.

True agency is experienced in the Participation Realm created by Law when it is absent of the influence of Rewards. It is this recognition as a member of the society irrespective of Rewards that engenders Cohesion because each member is enabled to participate simply but the fact of their membership.


The Purpose of Law is to create the conditions that result in the Cohesion of a society despite the diversity of the individuals that make up the society.

Cohesion is the sustenance of group identification in spite of diversity and differential outcomes from opportunity.

Safety cannot complete its emergence without Law and Rewards require Law to emerge, which places Law as the second Quality.


Without both protection from others and rights to participate the society cannot avail itself of the skills and abilities of its population.

Laws facilitate the contribution of perspectives to problem definition and solution selection partly by creating conditions of safety and partly by creating structures within which individuals can express their perspectives and preferences.

For complex decision taking to be effective it is essential that selected solutions also move on to implementation and another role for Law is in mandating the acquiescence to group selection decisions as well as contribution to and participation in the implementation of those decisions.


The reliability of Law, like other Qualities, is dependent on social assertion. The universality of the application of Laws strengthens their acceptance but also places a responsibility on Law to constrain itself to matters of genuine public interest.

In recognition of the tiny space within which the Laws that protect Safety are durably universal and that outside of that space Laws are a means of asserting social norms, successful and accepted legal systems rely heavily and deliberately on the continual involvement of the members of the society to determine the interpretation of statute and the ongoing refinement of legal boundaries.


Anything that erodes to the universality of Law will have a detrimental effect on the complex decision taking capacity of the society because it weakens the confidence in and commitment to the social project by the individuals.

The intrusion of Law into private space restrains contribution because it intrudes on the diversity of thought and inhibits free expression thus limiting the Agency of Freedom that is created by Safety.

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