This article is an initial attempt to understand the Kitáb-i-Aqdas from the perspective of contemporary secular national and international law. First, it analyzes and classifies the laws and institution-building provisions of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, demonstrating its character as a constitution or “Charter” of future world civilization. The social laws are further analyzed to show how they, together with expressed principles, form the nucleus for a fully developed legal system. Second, the article investigates the relationship between law and principle, the “warp and woof” of the institutions of Bahá’u’lláh’s World Order. How a particular code of laws actually functions in a society depends heavily on the background of shared principles. Characteristic legal and social principles are identified, principles which together distinguish the Bahá’í system of law and government from others. The final section describes current thinking about the concept of legitimacy and the transformation of international law through human rights standards from a system that serves only states into one which serves humanity on the basis of emerging World Order principles.
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Copyright © 1994 Martha Schweitz