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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the distinction between the law and morals and consider the importance of the connection between them? Law and morals have historically always been in conflict with each other. Before trying to define them as a relationship we must define them separately. A moral is a principal of right or wrong behaviour sanctioned by or resulting from ones conscience of ones ethical judgement. Morality is seen to be personal to the individual however some see morality as universal for example in the issues of murder and rape most if not all of society would condemn these two acts morally. Morals can only be backed up by ones conscience or by social condemnation of the individual. In any legal system there will be some overlap between legal and moral ideologies. Many have tried to define law but no one has yet conceded a definition that is universally agreed upon. Therefore in order to gain an understanding of what law is we must look at the differences between the law and morality. Law and morality are clearly closely linked but there are ways in which they differ. Morality further inevitably depends on voluntary codes of conduct whereas law is enforceable. Breaches of moral rules are not usually subject to any formal adjudication while breaches of law will be ruled on by a formal legal system usually in the courts. ...read more.

Middle

Within the law there have been many contradictions, first and foremost in the cases of Brown and Wilson. In the case of Brown sadomasochistic gay men were involved, these were convicted whereas in Wilson which involved a man branding his wife's buttocks, there was no conviction, however a conclusion could be drawn that the reason Brown was convicted and Wilson wasn't was due to the morality held by the judge in the two separate cases, it was seen as immoral for Brown to do it but it wasn't seen as immoral for Wilson, even though in the case of Wilson medical treatment needed to be administered but in Brown it did not. If we took John Stuart Mills approach to the law then this kind of behaviour in both cases would be seen a moral choice between the people involved and not something that the law should meddle in as long as the their behaviour did not harm others. The extent as to morality plays a part in the decisions here is great as in the judgement of the Wilson case it would seem morally right that a man could harm his wife and cause her to need medical treatment however it is immoral for adults of 30 years and over to harm each other in a way that did not need medical attention. Furthermore it was decided in the case of Slingsby that consent was valid as a defence to Actual Bodily Harm in cases of vigorous sexual activity, however in Brown consent was not valid. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the jury can make their own decision on what can be an ordinary reasonable person this allows them to bring their own moral judgments into their decision. It seems apparent that through the law and in the many cases discussed that the question of morality plays a heavy and sizeable role in the outcome of law in the UK. Some cases it will be argued that morality has gone too far for example in the cases of Peter Sutcliffe regarding diminished responsibility and in the case of Brown, regarding homosexual activities versus heterosexual activities. Professor Hart says that society cannot exist without a form of morality which mirrors and supplements legal rules. Lord Devlin however says society requires the observance of certain moral principles and, even if public opinion is changing, the law should still support those moral principles. It does seem that Professor Harts view is of more substance as without law their would be no set of codes of value in which justice can take place and no way in which people can be held to account for their actions, what decides what is right and wrong should be morality along with the law as without morality their would be no point in the law as no one would understand what is right and what is wrong. It has been accepted above that sometimes it can go too far and law cannot play enough part in cases however morality still, I believe is an essential part of the legal system in this country today, ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 Sources of Law 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 Sources of Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the debate as to whether the law should reflect moral values, and discuss ...

    3 star(s)

    forced into this industry, those people who don't want to but have no option but to. As illustrated in the case of Shaw V DPP. Here, they are increasing the rate of public turning to prosecution. Us general public, even though some may feel it to be morally wrong, others may carry on creating more of a demand.

  2. Free essay

    heirachy of civil courts

    People who appear before tribunals do not have to be represented by a member of the legal profession. Depending on the nature of the tribunal, they may instead choose to be represented by, for example, a trade union official, an accountant, a surveyor, a doctor, a social worker or a friend, or they might want to represent themselves.

  1. To advise Reggie, it is necessary to look at the law of adverse possession. ...

    The relationship of Andrew, Boris and Carmen with each other can determine if they are tenants or licensees.37 From the information given, we are told that they are friends and went along together to see Lilian, this shows they intent to live together.

  2. The Land Registration Act 2002 heralds major changes to the law and procedures regarding ...

    However, if no proceedings are issued within those years, he may make a second application and this time it will succeed. Of course, if in the meantime possession proceedings have been issued against the squatter and they have resulted in a judgment for possession, the squatter may not make his second application.

  1. Critically evaluate the partial defence of Provocation.

    The provocative act need not be illegal or even wrongful: in Doughty (1986), it was held that the persistent crying of a baby could amount to provocation. Mere circumstance cannot be provocation, so a novelist discovering that his/her manuscript has been eaten by a dog cannot use provocation successfully if they lashed out and killed someone.

  2. "The dichotomy between employee and self-employed is being eroded in employment law, so much ...

    more stringent duties to his employees, supplemented by implied terms in the contract of employment. Finally, employment protection legislation, in the form of unfair dismissal and redundancy compensation, time off rights, guaranteed payments and maternity rights only apply to employees.

  1. Legislations and regulations in sport

    Generally it will be complied with if all the following conditions are met: - the common law of confidentiality and any other applicable statutory restrictions on the use of information are complied with; - the data subject was not misled or deceived into giving the data; - the data subject

  2. Discuss the Difference Between Law and Morality.

    In England and Wales, there has been a noticeable move away from religious beliefs, and the way the law has developed demonstrates this. For example, abortion was legalised in 1967 and yet many people still believe it is morally wrong.

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