Countless theorists, judges and philosophers have explored the questions as to whether a connection between law and morality exists, and whether it is necessary, or even possible. Each day we follow the rules set for us by society and the government, and each day we think…
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But before this issue can be explored, many other aspects come into play so that the main question can be fully understood. Firstly, what is a connection between law and morality? What is this moral basis which we speak of? Ultimately I will argue that the contention that our acceptance of laws is based on its necessary connection with morality presupposes the existence of universal moral standards. I argue that this is not possible; that there does not and cannot exist a universal, or even societal moral basis, for ultimately the topic is subjective. By dismantling the conception that there exist these morals as a basis for our acceptance of law, I will then proceed to provide examples, and thus explain why we accept laws. The topic is rich in content, and brings into play many contentions and side analyses, and it goes without saying that this will be a brief, albeit suitable expression of the argument. However, the main basis of my argument will be to show that when a connection between law and morality is found – and I do not consider this impossible – it allows arbitrary decisions to be made, based on the subjective outlook of he who is applying the law.
What is a moral connection between law and morality? Let us observe it in play in the courtroom, through the dicta of judge Ormrod in the case of Corbett v Corbett.1 His statement that the criteria for determining the sex of a spouse to be “the biological sexual constitution” and the “essential role” of a woman in a marriage2 is commonly accepted to be fraught with personal moral considerations.3 In such cases, some argue that a connection between law and morality is proven, where the legislation involved in the case was vague and did not define the criteria under which the sex of a spouse should be determined. So, a moral connection between law and morality in the courtroom is an interpretation of the law in accordance with what the judge considers to be ...
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