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Explain the distinction between law and morals and consider the importance of the connection between them

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Introduction

Explain the distinction between law and morals and consider the importance of the connection between them Morality means a code of conduct held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong, whether by society, philosophy, religion, or individual conscience. Whilst Law simply means a system of social rules usually enforced through a set of structured institutions which affects everyday life and society in a variety of ways. There seems to be a strong connection between law and morality, usually something, which is seen as immoral, is usually seen as illegal. Therefore if our morals change it usually follows that the law must play "catch up" to maintain acceptable standards. An example is the Abortion Act 1967 where David Steele, a Liberal of MP claimed that it was immoral to allow such practices to continue and felt that society's attitude towards abortion had changed. Lord Devlin argues that law reflects (positive) morality, that is, the moral principles actually observed by the majority of community members. Morality here is seen as a kind of cement paste which holds society together. ...read more.

Middle

The traditional Natural Lawyer should think that legal interpretation necessarily involves good moral reasoning and cannot represent the law as immoral to any significant degree, whereas the traditional Legal Positivist should think that legal interpretation does not necessarily conform to good moral reasoning and can deliver conclusions about what the law is that represents it as significantly morally defective. Keep in mind that Law and Morality is not necessarily the same thing. In criminal law, law and morality often coincide. For example, there are laws against theft, fraud, assault and murder; theft, fraud, assault and murder are morally wrong. This coincidence or overlap between much of the criminal law and some moral principles is no accident: the criminal law is fundamentally about ensuring the protection of basic moral rights, including the right to life, to liberty, to physical security and to property. The moral rights enshrined in the criminal law and those regarded as fundamental by the wider society; they constitute the basic moral norms of the society. There a few reasons on why legal and moral rules often overlap, one is due to the fact they both aim to impose standards of conduct to help society function. ...read more.

Conclusion

A few questions which the House of Parliament still needs to be legislated upon are:- 1. Should prostitution be legalized? 2. Should euthanasia be allowed in certain circumstances? 3. Should the death penalty be reinstated for heinous crimes? In the media it was said 90 patients died in the hospital due to them being unhygienic, a hospital is the place you would expect to make people better and not harm them. It was said that "nurses at the trust were too rushed to wash hands and left patients to lie in their own excrement." Is that right? To leave 90 patients alone while a dangerous infection clostridium difficile is spreading to the patients? It is also said that "For many of these patients there may well have been a good chance that they would have recovered if all steps had been taken" why weren't those steps taken? Is this morally right not to help them as much as they could? All in all One of the difficulties for law is that not only is the society pluralistic, with a wide range of views on all moral issues, but also that these views are sometimes passionately held, allowing little scope for compromise. ?? ?? ?? ?? Micheal Bishop ...read more.

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