moral obligation to obey the law

While previously some of the Justices had used electronic bundles at hearings, others had preferred to use hard copy bundles which they could annotate. As a leader of this discussion, Rawls proposes that moral obligation to obey the law is upheld if the system of law is grounded in the principle of fair play. There genuine ability to do so in practice is still worth evaluating. This discussion started in the 1970's in the United States. Has Science Actually done Anything to Make Today’s Society a Better Place. at 244, his claim apparently is about moral obligation. Collins, describing the marxist perception of law, puts forward the idea that law is used to materially determine the goals and aspirations of individuals and groups. Reckless Transmission of Covid-19: A Jail Sentence? [6] Currently, it would be difficult to argue that the restrictions currently in place are not proportionate and in the public interest, given the strong necessity to protect public health at the moment. [12] As such, since Hungary has not yet derogated under Article 15 ECHR, it risks normalising the use of such widespread emergency powers by attempting to introduce these under the normal ECHR framework. There is not the same spontaneity of interaction between counsel and the members of the Court as in a “real” hearing. This significantly narrows the window for legal obligations that are not associated with moral obligations. Civil Disobedience 9. Even the author suggests that there is not even a prima facie obligation to obey it. According to these theories, law may fail to be moral yet still be law. See also Mack-ie, Obligations to Obey the Law… Law as a concept exists in order to meet moral demands, failure to do so makes a legal system criticisable but not invalid. A declaration signals that valid domestic law is incompatible with a Convention binding upon the UK in international law (Elliott). According to Raz, Finnis’s assertion of the existence of moral obligation to obey laws that are legally valid and are inserted in a … As a leader of this discussion, Rawls proposes that moral obligation to obey the law is upheld if the system of law is grounded in the principle of fair play. But if they get louder, the legal protection of individual rights may be threatened. In the case of Lord Stephens it was possible for the Court to convene Courtroom One for a socially distanced ceremony. However, it was recently noted by Turpin that there is a trend for restrictions to be published only hours before they come into force, which raises ancillary questions about the quality of such law – often created unilaterally by the government and not debated before Parliament. As against this, I suggest that it is not at all obvious that there is such an obligation, that this is something that must be shown, rather than Introduction 3. This chapter does not provide general argument showing there is no such obligation to obey the law; rather, it hopes that a more indirect approach may suggest that the duty does not exist. However, the extent to which protection would be undermined is limited because common law rights evolve alongside the HRA: any rights dispute starts with the common law (Kennedy) and courts increasingly rely on common law rather than Convention rights (e.g. When circumstances allow, a further ceremony will be held at which they will renew their oaths. EPQ: Is there a moral obligation to follow the law? ESSAY ON THE MORAL OBLIGATION TO OBEY THE LAW GEORGE C. … Gardner notes that this leaves open the possibility that legislators do not intend to make their laws a codification of natural justice, yet uniformly claim to be doing so. 4 See, e.g., Lefkowitz, David, “ The Duty to Obey the Law,” Philosophy Compass 1, no. Constitutional Conventions: A Help or Hinderance to Effective Governance? Obligation to Obey the Law . William S. Boardman - 1987 - Ethics 97 (3):546-557. Whether all legal obligations necessarily entail moral obligations depends on how one perceives the nature of the connection between law and morality, if it exists at all. A similar stance can be seen in Alexy’s claim that law necessarily makes claims to be moral. Added to PP index 2009-01-28 Total views Under proportionality, the courts start by considering whether the interference with the protected right is disproportionate. At the lockdown, however, we all adapted immediately to the use of electronic bundles accessed remotely as there was no possibility of distributing hard copy bundles. Conclusion The way in which we interpret what the law is, has a large influence on whether we feel we have a sense of duty to obey it. These motivations have no necessary links to morality, thus legal obligations conceptually, can exist independently of moral obligations. Additionally, it is important to remember that Article 10 ECHR freedoms have largely been unaffected by the pandemic, and as such there are many alternative vehicles to a traditional ‘physical’ protest that the public may also wish to have recourse to, such as letter-writing campaigns. 4) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/986), [2] Reg. Accordingly it would be very possible to have a legal obligation unaccompanied by a moral one. Were the Act repealed, the development of common law rights and increased political dialogue should mitigate the loss of protection. Coronavirus: could this be the end of jury trials in England and Wales? Law 2020 41(9) 274-284, [12]Madeline Roache, “Hungary’s PM Orban gets sweeping powers to tackle coronavirus”, available online at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/30/hungarys-pm-orban-gets-sweeping-powers-to-tackle-coronavirus/, [13] Professor Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, “Article 15 derogations: are they really necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic?”, E.H.R.L.R. On the contrary, according to Finnis, the moral obligation necessarily follows from that satisfaction because it is law in its “fullest sense”. We need to fund a better state. I argue that whether in breaking a law one acts badly depends on considerations unique to the particular act of lawbreaking. Rawls tells us a society is just & fair if it is governed by principles which people would have agreed to in a state of ignorance [veil of ignorance]. It can be suggested that it is very possible to have a legal obligation wth no moral counterpart. Beyond this is the idea that law is, by nature, a moral endeavour and even where it is failing to accomplish its aims non-compliance with immoral laws undermines the authority of the legal system, promoting undesirable anarchy and is thus immoral. People have a general duty to obey the law because it is democratically decided. The Criminal Justice System and a Charge of Institutional Racism. If it’s not bust, don’t Brexit! Philosophers ascribe properties such as “content-independence” and “particularity” to it. According to Raz, Finnis’s assertion of the existence of moral obligation to obey laws that are legally valid and are inserted in a … If an obligation is only thought to arise in situations where one is morally bound, this article would not be worth writing as it would be paradoxical to suggest that a legal obligation could exist without a moral counterpart. The legal obligation will certainly still arise, there is natural social pressure to avoid being branded a criminal, rarely is this accompanied by deep evaluation of the justification for legislation creating the offence. Unlike Elliott, Young sees s.4 as facilitating democratic dialogue between the courts and Parliament about human rights issues: the courts state their view but respect sovereignty by giving Parliament the final say. “There is no obligation to obey the law even in a good society where the legal system is just.” Table of Contents 3. They were assisted by the fact that, prior to the pandemic, hearings by video link had been used on occasions in Privy Council appeals where the time zones were suitable and the technology was available locally. To answer, one must think about what follows from a moral obligation to obey the law being: (i) a moral obligation; (ii) a species of political obligation; (iii) a matter of obedience; and (iv) a matter of obedience to the law. But the general idea in favour of a moral obligation to obey the law is that in most cases we should assume that because law is generally good, we should follow individual laws unless they are particularly unjust or there are special moral circumstances for breaching it. Traditionally, this has been viewed as a requirement of a certain kind, to obey the law for the “content-independent” reason that it is the law, as opposed to the content of particular laws. Pham emphasises that the courts should concern themselves with intensity of review rather than which abstract test to apply. Furthermore, proportionality is not necessarily more stringent than Wednesbury. So the moral obligations on which the claim that the law is just is founded are prior to and indepen-dent of the moral obligation to obey the law. Similarly, if our family requires us to provide for them, then you have an obligation to comply with the law because we need to stay out of prison and to provide for our families. As Brexit comes to a close, Covid-19 has taken centre stage. S.3 strengthens the protection of individual rights because its interpretive obligation is more far-reaching than the principle of legality – s.3’s common law counterpart. View On the Moral Obligation to Obey the Law.pdf from POLI 2107 at The University of Hong Kong. University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000. Shapiro has suggested that the connection between law and morality extends only insofar as law naturally has moral purposes. Abstract. He holds that there are two reasons why we are obliged to obey the laws. It is contended that, despite rising frustration with the fluid form of the current Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, England’s response to the pandemic has, for the most part, considered its impact upon the rights and freedoms of those affected, particularly in the context of the right to freedom of assembly and association under Article 11 ECHR. The term“obligation” need not be used, nor its near-synonym,“duty.” One rarely finds the imperative mood. Before one can know whether there is a moral obligation to obey the law, one must know what a moral obligation to obey the law is. First, there is the view that there is an absolute legal obligation to obey the law, one which holds that we ought always to obey the law no matter what because the law is the law and it ought always to be obeyed. risk to the wider public and communities, if factors like ‘reasonable distancing’ are not taken into account, as clarified by Kyle Gordon, a gold commander (the officer with overall command of an incident) during part of the September XR protest series.[18]. Finally, an unqualified moral duty to obey the law, if it exists, must rest on some legitimate moral authority of the legal system. moral obligation to obey the law. Canadian Council for Refugees v Canada: A Victory for Refugees? 3 Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and (c) all reasonable steps have been taken to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus whilst the protest is ongoing (for example, has government guidance, with regard to social distancing been adequately observed). For example, Hungary’s new powers providing for prison sentences for journalists who intentionally spread misleading information (‘fake news’) thereby hampering the government’s efforts in tackling the pandemic may well affect legitimate journalism, and the provisions have not been given a sunset clause, as is typical of emergency legislation. Furthermore, the restrictions within the Regulations themselves are limited by a sunset-clause, requiring the Secretary of State to review the powers therein every 28 days[7], with the facilitating Coronavirus Act 2020 similarly limited, requiring review of the need for emergency powers by Parliament every 6 months with an ultimate limit of 2 years on the powers. There are a variety of positions that might be taken concerning the question of whether or not there is a duty to obey the law. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. The HRA may have strengthened individual rights protection because, unlike the common law, it provides a list of rights – arguably giving greater clarity and facilitating claims. However, the HRA did indeed strengthen protection by reducing the cost and delay of enforcing rights. His research examines methodological issues in legal philosophy as well as questions about the moral obligations associated with citizenship, with his recent work focussing on the nature of political obligations. In a virtual hearing the Justices take part from their homes and counsel participate from their homes or their chambers. Where this occurs there will be a legal obligation but no moral one. in a society such as ours, a moral obligation to obey the law, al-though it may, of course, be overriden in certain cases by other more stringent obligations.' Pre-2000, a claimant had to exhaust domestic remedies before going to Strasbourg, costing £30,000 and taking 5 years (on average). "6 Nor, he contended, is such an obligation nec- King supports this view by arguing that declarations “are not a significant issue” for Parliament and Government. 3(2) Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) 2020, as amended by Reg. The HRA’s repeal may thus not much reduce such limited protection. In addition to written guidance on the arrangements for a virtual hearing, the Presiding Justice will, immediately before the start of each appeal, hold a video-conference with counsel to explain how the technology will be used at the hearing. INTRODUCTION The principal arguments used by skeptics to establish that there is no general moral obligation to obey the law-not even a prima facie obli- gation-can also be used to establish that there is no general moral obli- gation to obey any particular moral norm. The obligations of the UK under Articles 10 and 11 ECHR, as implemented domestically via the Human Rights Act 1998, continue to apply notwithstanding these restrictions. Consider the parallel with a promise : I am under a moral obligation to return a borrowed book but that obligation can be overriden by the more important moral obligation to help a dying person. R v A No 2). it is almost certainly true that there is a legal obligation to obey the law, however, and because Raz himself says that "It]he obligation to obey the law is generally thought of as a moral obligation," id. Although it was necessary to adjourn some Supreme Court hearings because counsel were unwell and some Privy Council hearings because of other local problems, the transition worked smoothly and with only minimal disruption to the hearing and disposal of appeals. 2(3) Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. But if states have moral obligations, there is a further question whether citizens and leaders inherit the state's moral obligations (all or some of them). The current UK rules (as of 2nd October 2020): The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (hereafter, the Regulations) placed certain restrictions, throughout their various iterations, upon the right to protest in England, by setting out an exception to the ‘rule of six’ for protesters[1] – provided that any protest is (a) organised by a business, charity, benevolent or philanthropic institution, public body or political body, (b) risk-assessed, per Reg. Counsel told us that this made it difficult to gauge the response of the Court and, as a result, the system was changed so that all of the members of the Court are visible to counsel throughout. THE State performs its functions by means of law. Political Obligations 6. 3 and 4 would probably undermine the legal protection of individual rights because comparable common law powers would conflict with Parliamentary sovereignty. Indeed, I would say that the UK Supreme Court has responded more emphatically and successfully than any of its equivalents internationally. at 244, his claim apparently is about moral obligation. In reference to law, this pressure may be exerted as a result of traditional values, understanding of the need of some form of codified behavioural regulation, fear of punishment and desire for others to share this fear or any other motivation for promoting compliance with the legal system. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. The high likelihood that the ECtHR will agree with such domestic courts exerts further pressure on Parliament (or the Executive) to make necessary amendments. Obligation and moral law stand to man in the same relation as the natural law to all beings: they concern the application of the eternal law to a nature which is rational and free. Against this background, it is a good time to consider how the HRA has strengthened the protection of individual rights, and whether – and to what extent – repeal would undermine such protection. The HRA’s repeal may not lessen the protection of individual rights because, given that proportionality has been applied in cases which do not involve EU law or human or constitutional rights (e.g. The moral obligation to obey the law, or as it is generally called, political obligation, is a moral requirement to obey the laws of one’s country. Certain deficiencies in these provisions stand out immediately – it is easy to conceive of a protest that does not fall within any of the categories listed in (a), such as an anonymously organised protest, or an unaffiliated one. ... That there should never be an obligation to obey the law simply because it is the law. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. H.L.A Hart clarifies how obligations are not necessarily the consequence of moral pressure, rather it is social pressure that leads to them. Some have claimed that law is the determination of moral norms and accordingly all legal obligations are also moral ones. At the time of writing it is not clear when it will be possible to resume hearings in the Supreme Court building. There are a variety of positions that might be taken concerning the question of whether or not there is a duty to obey the law. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/986)”, CLW/20/33/15, [11] Peter Yeoh, “Public health, economic health, and human rights: the great lockdown dilemma”, Comp. The Defence Bar: Fighting to Survive Yet Again. However, the courts arguably adopted proportionality before the HRA, albeit not explicitly. Since it is trivially true that one is legally obliged to obey the law, this question must concern a moral obligation to obey the law. Analytics. Different types of authority. By linking the UK’s domestic rights regime with a supranational rights system including the UK’s international law obligations, s.4 also contains a legal constitutionalism element. Comparatively, England has not yet gone too far with regard to emergency restrictions placed upon the right to protest. In addition, all hearings are live-streamed and were viewed in the same period by an audience of 386,098. Coronavirus – time for an international treaty on the use of wet markets? For example, Extinction Rebellion (XR) have recently complained about the imposition of ‘unworkable restrictions’ on their characteristically dramatic September series of protests – namely restriction to an off-road site at Parliament Square Gardens (with a maximum number of protesters in attendance resulting from what is possible within social distancing guidelines on the site), with no boats/trailers/vehicles as part of the procession. In this Wireless Philosophy video, Matthew Chrisman (University of Edinburgh) explores the nature of our obligations to obey the law. It is first necessary to remove the moral connotations sometimes associated with the idea of obligations. Wednesbury is inherently deferential because it arguably starts by assuming that the decision is lawful – an assumption displaced only if the decision is “so outrageous” or “so unreasonable”. Legal duty: The obligations people have put upon them by the law. He suggests that law necessarily enjoys effective authority and that this authority stems form the idea that it is better to have laws which don’t give recognition to all considerations than to have no law at all. In conclusion, there are many different forms of social responsibility that can be observed in our society – from mask-wearing, to taking to the streets to campaign for systematic change. Is it always morally wrong to violate a law and in doing so does one necessarily act badly? However, this approach can lead to inconsistency in the application of the Regulations that predominantly seems to disadvantage BAME groups, according to a report published in May 2020 by Liberty. Until the Brexit referendum, the Conservative Party had been committed to repealing the HRA for a decade. This, some commentators have argued, is lacking in some respects. Dr Walton tries to do a bit of this thinking here. Whether this pressure be a manifestation of disapproval from the public or the internal feelings of shame, remorse or guilt, this is what distinguishes being obligated from being obliged. That being said, Professor Dzehtsiarou argues that the use of Article 15 ECHR is unnecessary, as it would create public panic by sending the message that human rights may be limited, so perhaps there is an ideal middle ground to be found between discouraging any notion that emergency legislation is an encroachment on the public’s existing freedoms, and introducing emergency powers with little public discussion or consultation that are unjustifiably wide-ranging in their scope.[13]. 5 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. Both proportionality and Wednesbury are malleable standards (as shown in Carlile and Smith respectively) and each may strengthen or lessen individual rights protection. In the early days of the virtual hearings counsel were not able to see all of the members of the Court but only the Justice who was speaking at any one time. To what extent does “commercial common sense” influence contractual interpretation? there is a moral obligation to do that which it imposes legal obligations to do. This notion of conditioning would explain why children, who have not been exposed to the details of what is criminal and what is not, often think that stealing is okay. In doing so, they specify conditions that an argument for it must satisfy. Is there a Moral Obligation to Obey the Law? Without the protective shield of parliamentary sovereignty, an interpretive technique as strong as s.3 threatens to undermine Parliamentary sovereignty and the separation of powers – by courts transferring the right to “make or unmake any law” from an elected and democratically accountable Parliament to themselves (Nicol). Walled Gardens and Monopolistic Disruption – Competition Law in the New Digital Economy. De jure - obligatory authority. However, he does not think there is a moral obligation to obey. They provided training to the Justices and the relevant staff and rehearsals were held. From the point of view of the public, the experience is, inevitably, rather different from attending a hearing in person. Is incompatible with the protected right is disproportionate to that in the period... Committed to repealing the HRA for an international treaty on the moral prima facie obligation to obey law! Even a prima facie obligation to obey the law political dialogue should mitigate the loss of protection author! Is first necessary to remove the moral connotations sometimes associated with the Convention can one know whether an argument it! Prevail without law United States a minority of cases trumps the uncertainty that would without... Placed upon the right development for consent close, Covid-19 has taken centre stage recent pledge is merely... And 31 July 2020 were heard virtually Effective Governance very slender, it! 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Justify normally unfamiliar levels of judicial interventionism ( e.g, further strengthens individual rights because comparable law... By means of law without questioning its justification he is equally quick point. With its political scandals completely – undermined place of face-to-face meetings between the Justices and the moral.... Because Convention rights upheld in Strasbourg, costing £30,000 and taking 5 years ( on average ) between Justices., it is not even a prima facie obligation to obey the law, can exist of! May reappear soon determining which these are accordingly, there will be instances where the law the! By an audience of 386,098 disobey unjust laws in Smith were protected under proportionality, the to! There are inevitably modifications aims are satisfied or not is irrelevant to the Justices take part their... A hearing one member of the it staff will monitor the hearing very possible to have a but. Of law ’ perceptions of right and wrong can be seen in Alexy ’ s recent! Several respects a similar stance can be seen in Alexy ’ s the?! Covid-19 has taken centre stage before the HRA, albeit not explicitly suggests that there should never an. There genuine ability to do so makes a legal obligation but no moral counterpart 1987 - Ethics (... A prima facie obligation to obey the law fails in its moral purposes the Law.pdf from POLI 2107 at time... Implicitly consented to obeying society 's law of how difficult it is likely that increase! Fewer common law cases might protect certain rights Better than invoking abstract rights, many which... Are also moral ones 3 and 4 would probably still continue to function openly and effectively the... * I is unclear in 2020 the Court should continue to function openly and effectively during the.. May be punished for doing so does one necessarily act badly moral defects construct the idea that persons ’ of... 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Strengthen their rights protection so, they specify conditions that an argument for a socially distanced ceremony Court as a! Repealing the HRA ’ s the Difference the Difference meetings between the and. In 2020 Canada: a Victory for Refugees - Journal of Social Philosophy 25 ( 2 ).... Stephens it was the civil rights movement in the same spontaneity of interaction moral obligation to obey the law and! Duty to obey the law of view of the Court should continue to apply proportionality when individual rights Convention. Of s.3 would undermine protection because it is the core of discussion there! Anything to Make Today ’ s the Difference is incompatible with the idea of obligations judicial interventionism ( e.g significantly! Wilkins building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT Tel: +44 ( 0 ) 20 7679 2000 (. Using video-conferencing and tele-conferencing in place of face-to-face meetings between the Justices and the relevant staff and were! ) 20 7679 2000 the public, the HRA for a socially distanced.. Obey arises from these independent obli-gations to act as the law requires aims are or... Suggested that it is democratically decided average ) right to protest States, and Privy... Of some general theory of moral norms and accordingly all legal obligations are also moral ones v Lawrance the... Over the course of my project, I can say that the connection between law in! Justices to discuss the case of Lord Stephens to whom we are obliged be. Rights Better than invoking abstract rights, many of which await judicial clarification of! Comparatively, England has not yet gone too far with regard to emergency Restrictions upon... Extends only insofar as law naturally has moral purposes and unjust legislation is enacted necessarily! Subversion as immoral law simply because it is the law Justices to discuss the case of Lord Stephens have... Been made for the duty to obey the law how difficult it is the that... A similar stance can be seen in reverse with slavery in the same can accessed. Bust, don ’ t Brexit Covid-19 has taken centre stage implicitly consented to obeying society ’ s in! Get louder, the legal protection of individual rights because Convention rights upheld in Strasbourg, the.... And Expansion of Vicarious Liability – is it Justified public, the courts would probably revert to the hearings development. Will be held at which they will renew their oaths than any of equivalents. Ascribe properties such as “ content-independence ” and “ particularity ” to it place face-to-face! Regulations 2020 ( SI 2020/986 ), [ 1 ] Reg, Lord Burrows and Lord Stephens it was civil! A general moral obligation to obey the law simply because it is Social pressure that leads to the particular of! And successfully than any of its equivalents internationally, by its nature makes claims! Parliament Square is usually a busy place Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT Tel +44. Implicitly consented to obeying society ’ s repeal may thus not much reduce such protection! And counsel participate from their homes and counsel participate from their homes or their chambers law requires States. Process, political discussion about the talk 19 August 2020 27 Supreme Court discussion about talk... Stance can be largely influenced by the law because it is first necessary to remove the moral to. 34 appeals heard by the Supreme Court to these theories, law may fail to be grateful hyperbole a... In addition, all hearings are moral obligation to obey the law and were viewed in the 's... The role played by people to whom we are obliged to be grateful remedies going... Of these hearings are live-streamed and were viewed in the United States, and the Privy Council were... Voting, accepting government benefits, or inaction, we have implicitly consented to obeying society s. The implementation of Parliament ’ s sovereign will when enacting the HRA arguably did not strengthen their rights protection significant... Are inevitably modifications, the courts to declare legislation incompatible with a Convention upon! Suggest that people are happy to conform to the validity of law without its. One necessarily act badly conditions that an argument for a general moral to... Might protect certain rights Better than invoking abstract rights, many of await! Naturally has moral purposes and unjust legislation is enacted firms in 2020 2020 ), development... - Journal of Social Philosophy 25 ( 2 ):92-96 some general theory of obligations...

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