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The Relation Between Law, Human Rights And Morality

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'What is the relationship between morality, the law, and human rights?' This essay aims to analyse and breakdown the relationship between Morality, law, and human rights. All topics have their respective directives and often intertwine with one another in numerous ways sharing similar content. Each subject of matter has been curated with profound thought, consideration, and with a fundamental understanding of human beings and what is needed for the safety, survival, and equality of mankind. When analysing the relationship between the trio both parallels and contrasts can be found.

The Law, when you think about the law you think about what is deemed legal and illegal, rights and wrongs, and the punishment and justice-involved within the parameters of the law. Laws are rules that unite all individuals living in a network. They secure our overall wellbeing and guarantee our privileges as residents against maltreatment by others, associations, and by the government itself. We have laws to help accommodate our overall security. These exist at the local, country, and national levels, and incorporate things such as laws on food and hygiene, making sure food is at a set standard for consumption. Traffic laws ensuring safety on roads and licensing laws for doctors and nurses ensuring the correct and relevant training of the people that look after us is administered.

However, Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that every human being in the world is entitled to. These principles start from birth and continue to death no matter who you are, where you are from, or how you choose to exist in the world. Human rights remain intact and can never be withdrawn, although they can sometimes be restricted due to breaking the law. The referred to principles are protected by the law.

Whilst morality can be best described as a form of standards or principles obtained through social code and society, it's fundamental foundations are based on what is right and what is wrong. Morality can also derive from a particular religion, culture, or philosophy, depending on the individual and their life experiences. Morality cannot be measured or compared and depends on the individual. This can be interoperated in many ways or influenced by factors such as a person's mental ability to judge between right and wrong, For example, Mahatma Handhi stated 'Morality is rooted in the purity of our hearts'. Some may agree with this and others will reject this logic and will do due to personal preference and life experience.

Unlike legal rules, compliance with moral rules is voluntary, and they are not backed by legal sanctions. They are often informally enforced through social, domestic, or religious pressure.

Morals the law and human rights are all “normative”: They specify what must/ought to be done and embed the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable conduct.

In any case, the manners by which this is done are unique, as laws are sets of principles which society has chosen ought to be necessary.

Laws are officially implemented by select specialists, for example, Police and Criminal Prosecution Service.

With morality, it tends not to be sponsored by lawful authorizations, however, are habitually strengthened by social weights, such as loved ones or religion. They can have amazing impacts on individuals' behaviour, and create evolve over 1000's of years; often cemented in social and religious history. (Mainly Christianity) while Laws can be introduced rapidly by Parliament or the Courts, unlike moral values.

Having said that, human rights are protected by the law, the connective nature between the law and morality imposes this topic into the middle of both sets of principles. Without the law protecting human rights, it would not exist. On the other hand, morality plays a significant part also, as human rights are primarily a species of moral rights in that they call attention to certain priority moral values. Because human rights derive from important human interests and need it is natural to assume the legal protection of human rights. However, this may feed into the moral impact they have on society.

Law can consistently be seen supporting and attempting to keep up to our ethics. Regardless, this can be seen as a critical issue, regarding the nature of moral code.

Morals will dependably change after some time, to reflect a change in mindset, and the law must observe to keep up in these situations. An instance of this can be found in R v R (1991), which changed the law, so sexual assault inside marriage became a crime. It was seen that the spouse was legally viewed as property of the husband by way of marriage. This was perceived as morally outdated and wrong, yet the law postponed a change on this moral view.

If the law is to implement morals, then it raises the issue that what one individual thinks is dishonest, another might not, making it harder to pick which point of view would be authorized? This is developed by virtue of Gillick, where Mrs. Gillick searched for an explanation that what she saw as an improper occurrence (birth control advice and treatment open to youngsters under the legal age of consent) was unlawful concerning its inappropriateness. There was a conflict, as some believed this to be unethical (as it would support underage sex) while others felt that it was acceptable (as underage sex would occur regardless, anyway this would help cease unfortunate pregnancies).

This shows in any case of such conflict that law and morality, cannot be viewed as equal.

Morals can be viewed as standards that are upheld by law. They characterize not how one 'must' act, however how one 'should' act, and while they are not dependent upon moral authorization, they can be casually reinforced by society.

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While the law can be connected with this culture, for instance, Lord Atkins' 'neighbour concept', which is the reason for the offense of recklessness, and got from the biblical request to 'love thy neighbour'. Which is believed to mean don't hurt thy neighbour. The problem arises in establishing what this higher code is, although it would seem to be based on human rights. Aquinas saw it as coming from God, while Aristotle believed it came from nature.

Another theory refined by John Stuart Mill. is utilitarianism, which proposed that the moral action was the one that produced good for the many, even if it was at the expense of the one (i.e. ‘the greatest good for the greatest number). Mill’s refinement of the idea argues that whilst this idea is true, the individual should not have to follow society’s morals and should be free to act as they wish, provided their acts do not harm others.

With activities like robbery and murder, they are classed as 'off-base' both ethically and lawfully. However, for wrongdoings, for example, parking breaches, are not seen as immoral, while improper acts, for example, infidelity are not a criminal offense under UK law.

Laws are absolutely compulsory (one ‘ought to’ obey them) and are officially enforced thru the courtroom docket system. Law and morality can consequently be visible to be mainly different, and one might hence anticipate their courting to be in addition separate. They are, however, intertwined, an instance of which being the ‘vote of conscience’.

There are numerous theories on what the connection between regulation and morals need to be.

The first principle is herbal regulation, followed via way of means of St Thomas Aquinas.

This states that there may be a better regulation to which regulation ought to conform. One needs to brush aside a regulation that is at odds with this herbal code, except doing so might cause social unrest. The trouble arises in setting up what this better code is, even though it might appear to be primarily based totally on human rights. Aquinas noticed it as coming from God, even as Aristotle believed it got here from nature.

Another principle clarified via way of means of John Stuart Mill. Is utilitarianism, which proposed that the ethical action was one that changed and produced good for the right of many, although it changed into the rate of the only (i.E. ‘the prominent right for the prominent number). Mill’s refinement of the concept argues that while this concept is true, the individual should not feel the need to observe and live up to society’s morals, and need to be unattached to behave as they wish, as long as their acts do not propose harm or damage others.

An extension of this concept may be visible within the ‘victimless crimes’ debated via way of means of Edwin Schur in Crimes Without Victims. He argues that offenders’ acts consisting of homosexuality (this was illegal when he was writing), abortion, and drug abuse do not damage innocents, only those that partake of their own free will. A crucial complaint is, however, that not only can the character and damage be questioned (as with utilitarianism) however it's far more complicated to argue that a person under the influence of drug addiction, for example, is acting of their own free will.

The Hart/Devlin Debate observed the book of the Wolfenden file in 1957. The committee in the back of the file contained Lord Devlin, an outstanding judge, and the educational Professor Hart. The file encouraged the legalisation of prostitution and homosexuality ‘must no longer interfere within the personal lives of residents or trying to inforce any unique sample of behaviour that is deemed further than necessary’ to guard others.

Hart, who was inspired via way of means of the theories of Mill, supported the file’s approach, declaring that felony enforcement of an ethical code turned needless and morally unacceptable because it interferes with a person's liberty. Devlin, on the alternative hand, turned strongly against the file, on what is probably mentioned as a herbal regulation approach. He felt that society had a positive ethical standard, which the regulation had an obligation to support, as a society might collapse without common ground on morality.

The Wolfendon Report supported Professor Hart’s view that regulation and morality must be separate, however, diverse instances determined because the file displays that judges are implementing their ethical perspectives of their judgements, for example, the case of R v Brown (1994), the defendants had willingly consented to sado-masochistic practices, and none of them had complained to the police. Nevertheless, they have been prosecuted, and convictions have been upheld primarily based totally on public coverage to protect the morality of society. The regulation is consequently visible to try to uphold what it considers to be public morality, although a few can also additionally dispute the correctness of that ethical code.

This is a comparison to the case of R v Wilson [1996], At her request D branded his initials on his wife’s buttocks with a warm knife. The scars brought about him being charged with ABH S47. COA held his behaviour amounted to “tattooing” and that it turned into now no longer within the public hobby to impose criminal punishment, nonetheless displaying that the general public and their ethical perspectives nonetheless affect our regulation.

The differing techniques in those instances genuinely display that judges on said occasions are letting their ethical values have an effect on their judgements.

The courts regularly locate themselves in the centre of highly tough ethical choices concerning lifestyles and death. They are regularly pressured to determine among a person human rights, ethical code, and the law.

In conclusion, there is a close relationship between law, human rights and morality as the law does endorse moral values as well as protecting human rights. Although to what extent the law should be influenced by morality remains an open discussion. A reflection can be made on the relationship between all three in connection with the Mrs Gillick case. As stated previous, it was argued that Mrs Gillicks thoughts and beliefs were somewhat unacceptable, due to her belief that underaged girls should not recieve sexual advise/contraception on the grounds of her own personal morals.

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The Relation Between Law, Human Rights And Morality. (2021, August 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
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