The natural law recognizes that parents have a duty to support their children until they are old enough to fend for themselves, and it recognizes that spouses cannot leave one another destitute. However, to the extent that laws otherwise interfere with testamentary freedom, they violate the rights of property. As Locke explained: “Freedom is … a liberty to dispose … as he likes, his … possessions, and his whole property.”

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove