For philosophers like Plato there is a very close connection between law and morality as true justice is indispensable to human well-being. The field of ethics has often criticised legal arrangements and how the mechanical application of law provokes ethical and moral injustice.1 The discussion that follows will centre around and discuss the above mentioned conflicting themes in this area.
Firstly it has to be seen whether the existence of unjust laws shows that law and morality are a gulf apart. Secondly whether the existence of laws that serve to defend basic fundamental rights like laws against murder, rape and defamation are a testimony to the compatibility of law and morality. Thirdly that the law only identifies offences and prescribes punishments for crimes and does not take into account the motives and morality behind a defendants actions no matter how noble they are. The fourth theme which is going to be tested in this regard is the internal or habit like nature of morality as opposed to law, as it is said to govern law without compulsion or fear of punishment. Fifthly whether morality can form the basis of making several laws illegal because they are immoral, no matter how procedurally valid they may seem. Last but not the least this essay explores whether the law can be a public expression of morality enshrining the basic principles of acceptable conduct with in a society.2
The statement in the question above comes from the very controversial case of Re A 3 (Children) (Conjoined Twins: Surgical Separation) where the parents of six week old Siamese twins, Mary and Jody,(M and J) appealed against a court order granting the NHS the authority to perform an optional surgical separation .The twin M had severe brain abnormalities, no lung tissue and no properly functioning heart and depended for her blood supply upon J which was her healthy ,normally