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Surely one of the most distinctive features of our species is the need to create and ascribe meaning and value to the immutable experiences of human existence: the trauma of birth, the discovery of the self as separate from others, the formation of gender or sexual identity, procreation, the death of loved ones, one's own death, indeed, the mystery of it all. Each culture, in its unique context, records these experiences in ways that provide meaning, guidance and codes of rectitude that serve as compasses for the individual as he or she navigates the vicissitudes of life. These are the inner worlds, the inner reality each person inhabits. The New Haven School of International Law designates this fashioning of an inner world of meaning and value in individual and collective life as the "rectitude process." "[R]ectitude refers to freedom of thought and religion, presumption of innocence, and freedom from ex post facto laws." It is one of eight values or congeries of desired events, that human beings seek as scope values or try to manipulate as base values. The School has proposed policies with respect to preferred participation in the rectitude process, as well as its regulation by the larger constitutive process. For purposes of empirical research, the School has adapted intellectual procedures for articulating rectitude codes, many of which are not expressed formally, but are customary and implicit.

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