• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the relationship between law and morals.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the relationship between Law and Morals. Consider how far the law seeks to uphold and promote moral values? (June 2002) Laws are legal rules backed by official state sanction and procedures. Failure to follow law results in punishment. The oxford dictionary states "a rule or a system of rules recognised by a country or community as regulating the actions of its members and enforced by the imposition of penalties." Therefore the main reason for laws is to protect individuals and their property from harm in order to preserve command in society and punish those who deserve punishment. Sir John Salmond describes law as "the body of principles recognised and applied by the state in the administration of justice." Morals on the other hand are beliefs and values which are shared by an individual or a group of people based on what is right or wrong. Moral values are normally based on the dominant religion being Christianity, as well as other sources of moral beliefs. These values lead to debates which normally consist of sexual issues and standards of behaviour. In relation to the question, law and morals assist each other. Aristotle stated that the "rule of law is better than the rule of the individual." ...read more.

Middle

He stated that "Just what people happen to believe or accept is not to be equated with correct standards of morality." He also said that "using the law to enforce moral values was unnecessary, undesirable, as morality is a matter of private judgement." Here it is evident that Professor Hart was familiar with the significance of individual autonomy as he did not want moral beliefs and values to impact upon and symbolize legal rules. Harts view was also shared by the French sociologist Durkheim who stated that "in a modern society it is very difficult to pin point a set of moral values." However in comparison, Lord Devlin rejected Professor Hart's view and stated that "morality is not simply individual judgement...society must have recognised common morality." Here it is strongly evident that Lord Devlin wanted moral values to be endorsed through law. In addition to this there seems to be a contradiction between the relationship of law and morals. This is expressed through The Sexual Offences Act which states that homosexual and heterosexual couples have the same rights. However this understanding was not fully applied in the case of R v Brown (1993), where the defendants were held liable of homosexual sado-masochistic acts even though all participants consented. ...read more.

Conclusion

Changing attitudes in society also reflect the way in which the law seeks to uphold and promote morality. This is seen in the case of R v R (1991) in which the defendant, who was living away from his wife; raped her in her parents' home which he had forcibly entered. Here Lord Keith stated that "This is not the creation of a new offence, it is the removal of a common law fiction which has become anachronistic and offensive and we consider that it is our duty having reached that conclusion to act upon it." This eliminated the ancient rule that a wife was deemed to have given her consent irrevocably once she was married. Lord Keith saw this as an example of law developing in the light of changing social and cultural advances. In conclusion it can be said that the law does indeed uphold and promote moral values in most legislation. This can be seen as whilst morals are varying overtime, so are laws; exemplifying to us that law and morals share a powerful connection. Though in most legal rules, moral values are not upheld and this is very apparent. By and large as stated by Hart, moral values and laws share a likeness, "they share a general habit of obedience within society to which they apply." ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Pooja Sharma ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Law of Tort section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Law of Tort essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the extent to which discrimination is prohibited under English and Welsh law (25 ...

    5 star(s)

    It was later held that the Employment protection (consolidation) act (1978) was incredibly discriminatory towards women since more men than women are able to work full-time. The impact of EU law must acknowledge in shaping our current legislative protection as EU law is about free trade, EU law looks at

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Taking selected areas of the civil and or criminal law, evaluate whether sportsmen and ...

    4 star(s)

    Goodward owed Wattleworth a duty of care but he was not in breach of it as causation was not proved. There can be several defences used in these circumstances the first being volenti. In Woolridge v Sumner it states that this defence does not normally apply to cases of spectators

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically evaluate the principles governing the law on Intoxication.

    3 star(s)

    The Majewski case is a major case in intoxication and the major rules are developed from it. This was similar to the outcome of the case in Lipman as although the defendant lacked the mens rea he was still not allowed to use the defence because the judiciary took the

  2. UNIT3 ASSIGNMENT4 LAW OF TORT

    neighbour disputes - and there is nothing so difficult as neighbour disputes; the usually escalate out of all proportion. It is important that you are fully aware of the factors that will influence the court in deciding whether any particular events constitute a nuisance in the particular circumstances and also

  1. What is the meaning of intention in English criminal law? Is it always possible ...

    Strict liability offences where the prosecution does not have to prove mens rea in regard to one or more elements of the offence. Normally these are statutory where the text excludes any reference to mens rea. As such, it requires the court to decide whether to interpret the statute as including the word 'knowingly' in the text.

  2. British Law in Health and Social Care

    in similar crimes can be used to determine the punishment for a similar crime. Common Law was created after the Norman Conquest because the British monarchs saw that punishments for crimes were not being given fairly. This is because judgements were made by the noble man of the area and the punishments were handed down from generation to generation.

  1. tort law

    Breach of duty actually refers to the standard of care that is owed and the breach occurs when he/she falls below that standard of behaviour. Having established that there is a duty of care the claimant must prove that the defendant failed to do what the reasonable person would have done in the same situation.

  2. In this report, the differences between contractual liability and tortuous liability are explained. In ...

    who may be affected thereby and not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety. Furthermore, Anthony and Maria also owe duties of persons concerned with premises, in which, they are liable to persons (other than their employees)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work