Montesquieu

I say it, and it seems to me that I have writ­ten this book only to prove it. The spi­rit of mode­ra­tion must be that of the legis­la­tor ; the poli­ti­cal good like the moral good is always bet­ween two boun­da­ries. Here is an exam­ple.

The for­ma­li­ties of jus­tice are neces­sary to liberty ; but their num­ber could be so great that it would clash with the goal of the very laws that would have esta­bli­shed them : dis­pu­tes would have no end ; the pos­ses­sion of pro­perty would remain uncer­tain ; one party would be given the pro­perty of the other without exa­mi­na­tion, or both would be rui­ned by dint of exa­mi­na­tion.

Citizens would lose their liberty and their secu­rity ; the accu­sers would no lon­ger have the means of per­sua­ding, nor the accu­sed the means of jus­ti­fying them­sel­ves.