Law is an enactment made by the state. It is backed by physical coercion. Its breach is punishable by the courts. It represents the will of the state and realizes its purpose.
Law can be seen as the state echoing, and seeking to uphold, these values. These descriptions can be seen to be, however, not entirely correct, and the issue of law and morality is undeniably complex.
It is this, therefore, that we shall be examining in this essay. What is the law and what is moral? One of the major problems which arises when law attempts to take the above approach with regard to morality is the dynamic nature of any moral code. It will consistently change with time, to reflect a change in attitudes, and the law must attempt to stay abreast of the situation.
An example of this can be seen in R v Rwhich changed the law, so that rape within marriage became a crime.
Previously, the law had seen this as impossible, since the wife was legally seen as being almost the property of the husband via the marriage agreement. Morally, this view had long been seen as outdated and wrong, yet the law was slow in adapting. This problem can further be seen in the area of embryology, where scientific advances have happened so swiftly that the law has trouble keeping pace with the new moral issues raised by in vitro fertilisation, cloning, stem cell research etc.
In R v Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ex parte Bloodthe Court of Appeal forced a change in the law, due to circumstances unforeseen at the time the relevant statue was passed, providing another example of disparagement between the law and contemporary moral views.
Emile Durkheim highlighted another problem with law echoing morality when he espoused the problems, in a modern, complex society of finding a moral code which all would agree on.
Different groups have different attitudes, and as Jock Young pointed out, these attitudes are value judgements based on what an observer sees as being normal in society, and will, like all morals, change over time.
If the law is to enforce morals, then it is faced with the problem that what one person considers immoral, another might not, so which viewpoint should it sanction? This can be seen in the case of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authoritywhere Mrs Gillick sought a declaration that what she saw as an immoral activity making contraceptive advice and treatment available to girls under the age of consent was, by the nature of its immorality, illegal.
There was great moral conflict, as some saw this as immoral as it would encourage underage sex whilst others felt that it was moral as underage sex would occur anyway, but the measures would prevent unwanted pregnancies.
The question for the law was which moral viewpoint it would support. After a protracted battle, the House of Lords ruled against Mrs Gillick, but stated that they acted due to what was legal under the relevant statutes, rather than because of moral arguments.
This leads us on to the matter of what exactly the relationship between law and morality is, but another issue must be addressed first. If such conflict can arise between law and morality, then the two can clearly not be synonymous.
What then are the similarities and differences between the two? As we have already seen, morals can be seen as a set of values which are enforced by law. They are primarily voluntary and subjective, and whilst certain views may be persuasive, one is under no obligation to hold them.
Morals tend to develop slowly, often over hundreds of years, and are thus deeply influenced by the development of local culture.
Thus western morals owe a great deal to Judaeo-Christian beliefs, while those in the east are more Islamic based. In comparison to this, whilst law can be related to this culture e.
Whilst actions like theft and murder are generally condemned by both law and morality, crimes such as parking violations are not seen as immoral, whilst immoral acts such as adultery are not criminal under UK law although it is grounds for divorce.
Law and morality can therefore be seen to be particularly different, and one would thus expect their relationship to be similarly separate.
When MPs debate a law involving strong moral points, they are permitted to vote as their moral belief dictates, as opposed to party will, so laws can therefore have a moral nature in their existence.
We therefore return to the earlier question of the relationship between the law and morality. Theories on the Relationship There are various theories on what the relationship should be, and we shall look at these and examine further how far the law upholds the moral values of society, having already seen the difficulties in defining what these values might be, if they exist.
The first theory to be looked at is that of natural law, espoused by St Thomas Aquinas, and more recently Professor Lon Fuller. This states that there is a higher law reflected possibly by a moral code to which law must conform.
One should disregard a law which is at odds with this natural code, unless doing so would lead to social unrest. The problem arises in establishing what this higher code is, although it would seem to be based on human rights.
Aquinas saw it as coming from God, whilst Fuller in The Morality of Law stated that a legal system would only conform to this higher order if it followed eight principles; Generality using rules rather than random judgementsPromulgation making the rules knownNon-retroactivity of rules, Clarity of rules, Consistency, Realism, Constancy, and Congruence.
Another theory was first proposed by the lawyer, Jeremy Bentham, and later refined by John Stuart Mill. This theory, utilitarianism, proposed that the moral action was the one that produced good for the many, even if it was at the expense of the one i. Problems arise, however, in defining who these others are do they include embryos for example and what is defined as harm does it have to be direct interference?To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.
In this lesson, you will learn the difference between workplace ethics and the law through a comparison of two employees who each view a situation. It is therefore unsurprising that evidence has been found of a relationship between attitudes in morality and politics.
Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham have studied the differences between liberals and conservatives, in this regard.
Relation between Law and Morality or Ethics. Law is an enactment made by the state. It is backed by physical coercion. Its breach is punishable by the courts.
It represents the will of the state and realizes its purpose. What is the relation between law and moral or ethical rules accepted by a community of people?
Do they influence each other? Therefore, the . IS THERE A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MORALITY, LAW AND RELIGION? Tătăran Anca Abstract Between religion and law it has always been a close relationship, although they are two totally different concepts.
The connecting element is represented by the human being. Religion teaches us to be good, to.