Coincidence of legal and moral rules

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  • Created by: A Francis
  • Created on: 23-03-13 12:02
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  • Coincidence of Legal and Moral rules
    • Long-established legal rules influenced by moral rules
      • These include murder, theft, which can be traced back to the ten commandments
    • Public Morality may influence judicial change
      • The decision in R v R was influenced by the moral standing that a husband should not be able to force his wife to have sex
    • Changes in Morality may influence Legislation
      • Many legislative reforms made in the 1960's reflected the 'permissive' moral ideals at the time
      • The Law can be slow to react
        • This is evident with the reluctance to decriminalise assisted suicide
          • The conclusions of the British Social Attitudes Survey 2007 found that 80% of the population were in favour of assisted suicide
    • Public morality may be influenced by law reform
      • Some legislation can be seen to be introduced to educate the public that some matters are unacceptable
        • i.e. discrimination, smoking
    • Reasons for the overlap between legal and moral rules
      • Legal and Moral rules are concerned with imposing certain standards of conduct, without which society would break down
      • Many of these fundamental standards, law and morality reinforce and supplement each other as part of the fabric of social life
      • Phil Harris
        • Legal rules 'are found side by side with moral codes of greater or less complexity
          • The relationship of law and moral rules and standards is therefore one of great and abiding importance in every human society, and certainly not least in our own
      • The close link between legal and moral rules is also demonstrated by the similarity of normative language used
        • Both are concerned to lay down rules or 'norms' of conduct


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