Latin: literally natural law. The Romans believed, at least in principal, that the rights of individuals are inalienable from them. This precept maintains that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and that all people should be equal in the eyes of the law and government. Though this precept has been held in regard to law since the time of the ancient Romans, history, from the time of Rome until now, proves that the states do not always maintain these rights in the sense they are described. See ius gentium.