Legal Framework

Topics: Law, Morality, Common law Pages: 3 (570 words) Published: August 4, 2014



DPBA 180

T1 – Definition of Law

What is the Law?

The Law of a particular state is the body of rules designed to regulate human conduct within that state. This can be defined clearly as an organised system of principles and rules designed to control and influence the conduct of individuals and groups. The aim of most legal systems, officially at least, is to provide a means of resolving conflicts in a fair and harmonious way. All legal systems are strongly influenced by the major forces that shaped the society in which they operate.

Consequently there are three types of rule:

Rules, which forbid certain types of behaviour under threat of penalty.

Rules, which require people to compensate others whom they injure in certain ways.

Rules, which specify what must be done in order certain types of human activity, example: to form a company, to marry, or to make a will.

Although it is inevitable that the courts will make some rules, Parliament is the sovereign body. It can therefore impose new rules or abolish any existing rules. The basic role of the courts is to interpret these rules, decide whether they have been broken and pass sentence or make an award of compensation.

Law and Morality

The law, which is enforced by the courts, must be distinguished from what is sometimes referred to as ‘natural’ or ‘moral’ law. In many cases the rules of law and morality clearly coincide.

Example: If a person murders another, this offends both law and morality. The state will therefore punish the offender.

Sometimes, however, the rules of law and morality are not the same.

Example: Homosexual behaviour in private between consenting adults is not illegal although some people might regard it as a breach of moral law.

The term ‘natural law’ is sometimes used to refer to rules, which although not enacted are accepted as part of the...
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