138 V O L . 7 6 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 THE ADVOCATE
I am not sure that all these were good for us or to what extent their advent
has destroyed initiative and self-reliance, but that is another subject. We
have them, they are here to stay and we must cope with these facts.
To do all this the law has set up a vast and complicated system of administrative
justice. A delicate balance must be maintained between freedom
and order, between public interest and private right. The machinery for
resolving conflicts in the society, whether between individuals or powerful
groups such as great corporations and trade unions, must be constantly
improved and effectively employed.
Perhaps the most important task of lawyers today is to help to build the
international legal order on which the hopes for world survival so largely
depend. And when our minds turn to the idea of an international legal
order we do not think merely of the relations between states but of the quality
of law throughout the world community.
In the past while I have had some opportunity to examine this problem
and the means at our disposal for resolving it.
Creating a satisfactory system of world law means raising legal standards
and promoting as much uniformity as possible so that international investment
and commerce and the free movement of people can be carried on in
an atmosphere of confidence and security. Yet with all these tasks confronting
it, the special responsibility of the legal profession, it seems to me,
is to try to assure that while the new demands for order, rationalization and
planning are satisfied as effectively as possible, personal liberty and the
anxious quest for justice remain the hallmark of our society. The age-old
problem of freedom and order which gives the legal profession its supreme
importance in society was long ago stated by a Greek philosopher in the following
terms: “The major problem of society is to combine that degree of
liberty without which law is tyranny with that degree of law without which
liberty becomes license." (Heraclitus.) This in the final analysis is what is
going to decide the race between the free societies of the West and their
communist rivals. Mind you there is room for improvement in some areas
of the West also.
No one has spoken more movingly of the spirit of liberty than the great
judge Learned Hand. “What then is the spirit of liberty?” he said.
I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is
the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women;
the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its
own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow
falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near
two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned,
but has never quite forgotten: that there may be a Kingdom where the
least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.