Law and Morals
Law - Sir John Salmond regarded morals as - 'a body of principles recognised and applied by the state in the administration of justice'.
- breach will result in prision
- in civil law the wrongdoer will compensate the victim
- compliance of the public is immediate when an Act is passed
- Morals - Phil Harris - 'a set of beliefs, values, principles and standard conduct of behaviour'
- to intergrate morals in ones value system is voluntary, however there may be pressure socially to comply with morals.
- morals vary among individuals
- for example homosexuality
- law and morals are like two intersecting circles.
- the intersection is the area of coincidence
- outside the intersection is the area of divergence
- ten commandments - coincidence - murder and theft.
- judicial reforms have been influenced by morals - R v R
- legislative reforms reflect the publics moral values at the time - homosexuality - legalised by the Sexual Offences Act 1969.
- Law may influence morals - for example discrimination act that targets sex, age and race.
- there is a pluralistic society
- in which the judiciary had to consider different moral positions in Re A 2000
- Hart - Devlin debate
- Hart - Mill - individual liberty
- why should the minority have to conform to the will of the majority? immoral
- influenced legislative reforms - Divorce Reform Act 1969
Devlin - Stephen approach - the loosening moral bonds will lead to disintergration of society
- shown in judicial legistion - R v Brown took their approach
- Broad overlap with law and morals
- both impose a certain standard of conduct
- Harris states that laws are found side by side with moral codes.
- areas of divergence
- tobacco and alcohol - cannibis illegal?
- moral duty to help people in danger not reinforced by legislation.
Natural law theorists
Aristole - the law of nature constitued the natural law
Aquinas - the natural law is the divine law.
Law should be valid, whether good or bad.
- Fuller and Hart - hart positivist approach (nazi)
-Fuller - should not be valid.