Law and Morals Essay

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Law – Law and Morals 15/03/13 To examine the relationship that exists between law and morals and consider whether the law should support and protect moral values it is necessary to define both ‘law’ and ‘morals’, compare the two and evaluate how each relate to one another. Law and morals are “A general norm mandating or guiding conduct” this was defined by Twining & Miers. Therefore a rule is something that determines the way in which we behave; this may be because we submit to it (moral rules) or because failure to do so may lead to sanctions (legal rules). Professor Hart suggested we follow them because, they carry a moral obligation, the rule is reasonable and relevant and the penalty might be imposed if the rule is broken. Legal rules otherwise known as the law, they are followed because they’re enforceable in some way. The law is defined by Sir John Almond as “The body of principles recognised and applied by the state in the administration of justice”. By contrast moral rules are defined in the dictionary as “beliefs and values shared by a society or section of society”. Characteristics of morals include being heavily influenced by religion, which are often centred on sexual issues such as sex before marriage, homosexuality and pornography, although these attitudes tend to change over time. The law of a certain country often will reflect the moral values accepted by a majority of people but this is unlikely to be exactly the same as the common religious moral code e.g. adultery. Adultery is immoral in Christianity and Muslim but it’s not considered a crime in the UK. In England and Wales there has been a move away from religious beliefs and the way the law has developed reflects this for example, Abortions were legalised in 1967 yet still believed to be morally wrong by many people, but it was legalised as many were at risk from dangerous

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