Law and Morality people

The debate on the connection between law and morality becomes controversial since morality itself is also controversial. It is not easy to convince utilitarianists or moral relativists that law and morality interrelate. They may accept that laws should be universal but they will never accept that morality has universal principles. However, this study believes that ubi ius ibi moralis which means that where there is law there is morality. It would be a contradiction in terms to insinuate that a particular law is immoral.

Law focuses on the regulation of individual behavior, but it cannot be used to alter attitudes, values and morality (Vago 2009, p. 353). Obedience to the law derives from a sense of moral obligation learnt from socialization (Vago 2009, p. 359). Therefore, law would make no sense at all where there is no morality or at least some basic moral sensitivities and perceptions. It is quite self-evident that where morality vaguely envisions a state of social harmony or social and mutual tolerance, law seems to explicate this vaguely conceived end by making it public and mandatory.

Be what it may, law and morality remain intimately connected not as a matter of accident but as a matter of necessity. This is re-affirmed by their purported claims to the promotion and advancement of the cardinal social ideals, for instance, tolerance, cohesiveness, compatibility, integrality and self-sustainability in the society. Furthermore, no law can claim any validity, social impact or regulatory force where the institutions of social morality are crumbling. Neither can the law effectively operate where it is found to contradict or even to contravene obvious ethical and, by implication, moral principles in the society.

With the institutionalization of social morality and positive promotion of it through all available collateral social agencies, public morality and sometimes individual probity are equally promoted and enhanced. Thus an intriguing complementarity between public morality and the legal regime seems to emerge and indeed to need each other as vital and mutually indispensable sustainables. Morality should be the conscience of lawmakers. This means lawmaking process takes place in the eyes of morality.

Just as how a person will see the environment as green if viewing it through green glasses so will laws be moral if lawmakers see them through the eyes of morality. Therefore, in the development of law it is important to take into consideration moral values otherwise the laws may not meet their intended goal. This also implies that lawmakers themselves must be highly moral. As the saying goes nemo dat quod non habet which means one cannot give what he does not have, therefore, lawmakers must be persons of high moral standards to be able to direct laws in a moral path.