Gaetano Filangieri was the intellectual leader of the succeeding generation of enlightened thinkers in Naples. He entered law in 1774, the same year he published his first book, Political Reflections, in which he argued for the reform of the legal structure.
In 1780, he began the publication of his most famous work, The Science of Legislation, which was issued in several volumes. Falling within the natural law tradition, Filangieri sought to turn legislation into a science aiming for its end at security with equality before the law.
According to Filangieri, laws must be both just and suitable to the conditions of time and place. This led him to advocate the removal of barriers to commerce and the promotion of industry along with an equitable distribution of wealth. He proposed the establishment of a national system of public education, freedom of the press, and the creation of a national guard. In the legal sphere, he advocated legal reforms that included the abolition of torture.
The book was translated to English by Richard Clayton in the 1800’s. You can view and download the full PDF of this book here, or you can view and download it below:
The Science of Legislation – Gaetano Filangeri