Law and Morality

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LAW 012- INTRODUCTION TO LAW 1

INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT:

REPORTED CASE ON RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LAW AND MORALITY

OFFENCE OF INCEST

MOHD RAMZAN BIN RAMLI v PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

NAME: RAJA NUR HANANI BINTI RAJA ABD RAHMAN

STUDENT’S ID: 2012205054

CLASS: LWA01A

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS LAW?

POSITIVISTS

J.M. FINNIS: Rules made, in accordance with regulative legal rules, by a determinate and effective authority (itself identified and standard constituted as an institution by legal rules) for a ‘complete’ community, and buttressed by sanctions in accordance with the rule-guided stipulations of adjudicative institutions.[1]

NATURALISTS

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: A rational ordering of things which concern the common good, promulgated by whoever is charged with the care of the community.[2]

SOCIOLOGISTS

ROSCOE POUND: Law is more than a set of abstract norms, it is also a process of balancing conflicting interests and securing the satisfaction of the maximum wants with the minimum of friction.[3]

WHAT IS MORALITY?

No single definition can be offered to describe what morality is, but in general morality can be understood as a rule prescribing between what is wrong and what is wrong. It could also mean a value of the acceptable and unacceptable norm of a given society. Some reserve terms moral and immoral only for the realm of sexuality and use the words ethical and unethical instead of the word moral when discussing how the business and professional communities should behave towards their members or toward the public.[4]

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LAW AND MORALITY

1. The existence of unjust laws proves that morality and law are not identical and do not coincide.

2. The existence of laws that serve to defend basic values, law and morality can work together.

3. Laws can state what overt offenses count as wrong and punishable.

4. Laws govern conduct at least partly through fear of punishment.

5. Morality can influence the law in the sense that it can provide the reason for making whole groups of immoral elections illegal.

6. Law can be a public expression of morality which codifies in a public way the basic principles of conduct which a society accepts.[5]

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR v MOHD ROMZAN BIN RAMLI[6]

BRIEF EXPLANATION ON THE CASE:

Mohd Romzan bin Ramli was charged under the offence of incest under the provision of section 376A of the Penal Code- a person is said to commit incest if he or she has sexual intercourse with another person whose relationship to him or her is such that he or she is prohibited, under the law, religion, custom or usage applicable to him or her, to marry that person; and was sentenced to six years of imprisonment and one stroke of rotan under section 376B(1)- punish with imprisonment between 6 to 20 years and whipping; of the same Code.

The accused had committed the crime in between early January 2006 to 26th May 2006 in a room at his house in Kulai, Johor Bharu, Johor. To an 11-year old girl, Nurul Atikah bte Abdul Kadir, which is also his stepdaughter. In 2006, the girl was forced to undress by the accused and was disturbed sexually by him. He had done the disturbance to her several times. In addition, he threatened her not to tell anyone and had beaten her.

Father of the victim, lodged a police report after he had noticed changes in his daughter after he had picked her from his ex-wife’s home. After medical check-ups were done by the doctor, the victim suffered from injuries in her private part and was treated by a psychologist.

The accused pleaded guilty in front of the judge,Zawawi Salleh in the High Court of Johor Bharu, prosecuted by the Deputy Public Prosecutor, Husmin Hussin (Johor, State Legal Advisor Office). However, his sentences was changed to eleven years of imprisonment and three strokes of rotan, after the case was...
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