Practical principles tested in surprisingly different situations across five continents

A Framework for Universal Ethics

ethics principles of 3 types depicted as a flame

This simple framework of “universal ethics” principles has now proven useful to individuals, governments, judiciaries, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, post-secondary institutions, corporations and professional associations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and across the Americas.

The possibility of a Framework for Universal Principles of Ethics was proposed in 1997 in an article on the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Applied Ethics website. After 27 years of widely diverse testing around the world (see below), only one additional principle has ever been suggested.

Inherently imperfect, the validity of this framework is based primarily on user feedback. Please tell us about your experience applying this free ethics guide to your own situation or to your professional/volunteer role. Let us know if your organization is the first to report that the Flame Framework was not a helpful guide!

You can read and download our educational materials at no cost, but you will need permission to include the Framework in any publication, presentation or educational program. We need just a few words of explanation to grant permission. Contact us.

Once you have our permission, you will be authorized to use any of the free resources on this site with your students, colleagues or other groups – as long as you acknowledge the source and show our copyright on all of the materials.

The First 68 Known Uses Around the World