Law and Morality

Topics: Morality / Pages: 11 (2634 words) / Published: Feb 21st, 2011
Law and Morality

Law and Morality: Enforcement of Morals
There has been an ongoing debate about the relationship between law and morality. Numerous writers and philosophers have proffered arguments on how law is affected by morality. The question it is believed is no longer if morality affects law, it is to what extent is law affected by morality? And should there be any limitations on the relationship between law and morality?

The law and morality conflict has been persisting for many years. Both the natural law theorists and the positive law theorists would agree that there is a relationship between law and morality. The argument has now moved to what degree morality should play in law?

The obvious indication that this has been laid to rest is HLA Hart’s concession made at the onset of his book, Law, Liberty and Morality. He said that there is a definitive answer of yes, that historically and casually law has been influenced by morality.

In his book Hart focused on the legal enforcement of morality and likewise this essay is concerned with that question. It is believed this is the only debatable divide between law and morality.

The debate became a hot topic in the 1950’s after the creation of a commission to investigate and report back on sexual moralities. The commission led to the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957. The report at it outset defined the purpose of criminal law as: preserve the public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive and injurious and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others especially the vulnerable, that is the young, weak in body or mind, inexperienced or those in a state of physical, official or economic dependence. The Law should not intervene in the private lives of citizens or seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour further than necessary to carry out the above purpose.

Before embarking on the discussion proper, a

Bibliography: [ 1 ]. Law, Liberty and Morality, H.L.A Hart, Stanford University Press, 1963. Page 1 [ 2 ] [ 7 ]. Law, Liberty and Morality, HLA Hart Stanford university Press, 1963, page 3 [ 8 ] [ 19 ]. ‘Keep law out of gays ' bedrooms’ says Harding, Dwight Bellanfante, Observer staff reporter Sunday, October 31, 2004

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