Who Is C. Wilfred Jenks?


To learn who C. Wilfred Jenks is read The Common Law of Mankind. Here is a quote from a review of that book:

“The common law of mankind” and “international law” are identical in the sections of Jenk’s volume entitled Preface, Contents, and Text – pages xvii – xxvi – cover a collection of cases, legislation, treaties, and other international instruments…“Can we,” the author asks, “deduce a sufficient consensus of general principals  from legal systems as varied as the common law with its own variants of the Islamic Law, Hindu Law, Jewish Law, Chinese Law, African law in its varied forms, and Soviet Law to give us the basic foundation of a universal system of international law?”


The Department of Justice of the United States of America now has a quote from C. Wilfred Jenks at the head of their web-site. The quote reads:

The common law is the will of mankind issuing from the life of the people.


This administration is attempting to change the mindset of the people of the United States. When you stop thinking in terms of the law of the United States of America and think in terms of international law, everything in your life begins to change.

It is our constitution that gives us the freedoms we enjoy and our Declaration of Independence that declares our belief in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You have no guaranteed right to any of these things under international law!


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
This entry was posted in Constitutional Rights, Education, Homeland security, International Law and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Who Is C. Wilfred Jenks?

  1. Paolosilv says:

    Hi, maybe it has to do with the UN Charter. The other nations might want the US to surrender some or all of its sovereignty to the UN. This is probably why they’re against Israel too.


    • Gwynne says:

      It turns out, the quote did not come from C. Wilfred Jenks.

      Jennifer Gavin, a spokeswoman at the Library of Congress said she asked two reference librarians to research the issue and here’s what they found:

      The inscription, “The common law is the will of mankind, issuing from the life of the people,” is attributable to Hartley Burr Alexander, 1873-1939 – poet, philosopher, scholar, and architectural iconographer.

      The chief sculptor of the U.S. Department of Justice building (1932-1934), C. Paul Hennewein, retained Dr. Alexander, then chairman of the philosophy department at the University of Nebraska, to assist with a unifying theme for the sculpture and inscriptions for the new building.

      Dr. Alexander’s correspondence and photographs are archived in the Hartley Burr Alexander Projects Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California, where he was invited to chair a professorship in philosophy.

      So was Hartley Burr Alexander some kind of Marxist? Nope.

      “He seemed to be something of a liberal, but not a communist,” said Richard T. Hull, an emeritus professor at the University at Buffalo who wrote a brief biography of Alexander for the American Psychological Association.


      • Margot says:

        Thank you, Gwynne, for setting the record straight about C. Wilfred Jenks. The inaccuracies in the 2010 articles circulating on internet about the Department of Justice quote possibly being from his book The Common Law of Mankind are unworthy of everything he achieved, stood for and wrote.

        I had the honour of working for Wilfred Jenks in the ILO in Geneva during the short period of his directorship (1970-1973). He had been its Legal Adviser for many years and was a man of unsurpassed intellect and capability. Working out of the ILO’s wartime centre in Montreal, he and its then Director Edward Phelan, wrote the 1944 Declaration of Philadelphia which became part of the ILO’s Constitution and lay the basis of its post-war work.

        A fuller biography of CWJ can be found on the ILO’s website: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/dgo/staff/formers/jenks.htm

        His extensive archive is housed in the ILO and anyone wishing to learn more about him can do so by contacting the ILO directly. It’s well worth it!


  2. Ragfish says:

    Point well taken!

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is not in our Constitution. It is in the Declaration of Independence (1776). Our Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 by 11 states. It was Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, which sought to guarantee rights of the sovereign states and the freedom of the people from the new limited Federal government.


    • jlue says:

      And you are right. I knew that. (See corrected post)


    • r carter says:

      There would have been no ratification of the Constitution without the Bill of Rights. Several states withheld ratification until the Bill of Rights was attached. So the constitution and the first ten amendments were the original governing documents for the USA.


  3. Almost Always Right says:

    Part of the name of this site is lost in the flowers.
    See upper left.


  4. Adrian DeLoche says:

    The Declaration of Independece is important in the fact, that with the Constitution, and other Documents, represents the Core Values of what was meant to be our Governing Body.


  5. James B. says:

    “It is our constitution that gives us the freedoms…”

    The constitution gives man nothing. It merely guarantees the freedoms and right that are bestowed upon man by God….or Natural Law if you will.

    At least such is the thoughts of Jefferson and Madison who respectively penned the Declaration and the Constitution.


  6. Pingback: U.S. Department of Justice W E B S I T E C H A N G E | A Different Perspective

  7. Christian says:

    This posting is false – Jenks had nothing to do with the quote on the DOJ building. See http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jul/14/chain-email/chain-e-mail-claims-quote-top-redesigned-departmen/


    • jlue says:

      Christian, The post refers to it being placed on their web-site. http://www.justice.gov/
      The web-site has been changed and this quote was added.

      Here is what was known about the quote at the time of the post:

      The quotes that ring the building were selected during the construction process back in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Some attorneys believed the quote is pulled or adapted from the writing of Sir William Blackstone, the 18th Century British jurist, who wrote the Commentaries on the Laws of England , which influenced not only British law, but also the American constitutional and legal system. But other Department of Justice employees say the quote originates from British lawyer, C. Wilfred Jenks, who back in the late 1930s and after World War II was a leading figure in the “international law” movement, which sought to impose a global, common law, and advocated for global workers rights. Jenks was a long-time member of the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, and author of a number of globalist tracts, including a set of essays published back in 1958, entitled The Common Law of Mankind.

      Since that time, Jennifer Gavin, has said it isn’t attributable to Jenks. I haven’t done the research, but it is my opinion that the quote itself is a poor choice for the Department of Justice to use and I think regardless of who said it, it shows a misunderstanding of what our government should understand about justice in America.

      The quote says, “The common law is the will of mankind issuing from the life of the people.” The common law does and should originate with the people, but is really isn’t from the life of the people. It is from the legislative body that was chosen by the people and this body only has that power because of our constitution. If it originated from the life of the people and the will of mankind, vigilante law would have to be upheld. Life changes daily and everyone sees things through the lens of their own experiences. Without our written law that is upheld by the justice department, we cannot depend upon real justice to be carried out across America. It is this written law that keeps men in check and prevents abuses. Is it perfect? It is not, but it is about as close to it as man has ever been able to come.


    • AZ Bob says:

      We all know that, he is dead you idiot, its his philosophy that is still believed and taught in liberal progressive higher education. USA and its problematic Constitution has to go, it is blocking “WORLD POWER”. But as we see this Constitution is being whittled away as we watch and do nothing.


  8. Wim Pelt says:

    On your peroration: you might want to check the international covenant on civil and political rights. You have those three rights under international law – better formulated than the somewhat enigmatic pursuit of happiness and more rights besides those.



    • jlue says:

      The US is a nation whose rights are derived by the consent of the governed from the Constitution, which is the law of the land.


      • dogma dare probe says:

        The governed do not always consent, they are not always enfranchised. Until women had the right to vote early in the 20th century, more people were disenfranchised than franchised as more than half the population had no vote, notwithstanding other forms of discrimination.


  9. trutherator says:

    Actually the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights were rightly regarded by the Framers as rights held by men “endowed by their Creator”, some of which were articulated specifically therein. This is seen in not only the “endowed” phrasing in the Declaration, but also in the language of the Bill of Rights.

    Congress shall make no law prohibiting “the free exercise of religion”, or “abridging…”, the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed”, etcetera. The list refers to natural rights held by virtue of natural law, the laws of nature and of nature’s God, that exist independent of any Constitution or law anywhere in the world at anytime.

    Common law is different. It grew “organically”, and what was known as common law during the times of the American Revolution was a body of understandings that had grown over centuries of jurisprudence in Britain, and that were generally based in Christian understandings of such concepts, such as fair and equal treatment.

    In other words, the attempt to take the “common law” concept we have inherited from our forefathers and from the Framers, and trying to hide it behind confusion with the idea of homogeneity with the way laws were applied elsewhere is ludicrous, and it should have been laughed to scorn by colleagues when some international socialist (just like national socialist) in the Justice Department proposed it.

    “Common law” elsewhere did not embody such concepts of individual rights as in the West, and the move to bend our minds into thinking collectively (“graduated” income tax, central bank, fiat money, nationalization of the boom-bust cycle, taxes on groups) is a trick to subjugate our minds to orders from collective “leaders”– self-appointed of course.

    But such is now the sign of the times, when the country’s leadership want to make the Bill of Rights and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness into a distant memory of the past. Well it won’t be because “We can do nothing against the truth but for the truth”, and nobody can stop the rain of the refreshing waters of liberty, for “Whom the Son of Man sets free, is free indeed”.


  10. Don says:

    We are headed for a One World Order in which the UN will be the police (military) that will rule the world. Read the book “The True Story of the Bilderberger Group” by Daniel Estulin, Frieghtening! We are well down this road, if the research is correct in this book.


    • jlue says:

      I probably shouldn’t read it. The situation is already depressing. I am not sure I need to risk getting any more emotionally involved. 🙂 I will read it, though.


  11. Ellen Werther says:

    And lets all remember NONE of these G-d given rights applied to minorities. A small detail.


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