Law & Morality Essay

2192 words 9 pages
Consider the view that there is a close relationship between law and morality. Examine the debate as to whether the law should reflect moral values, and discuss issues, which show the continuing importance of that debate. (30marks + 5 for AO3)

A definition of law adapted from LB Curzon, Dictionary of Law states “ the law is a set of rules which are binding among the people of a community or a state, so that they will be imposed upon and enforced among those persons by appropriate sanctions”. The definition of morals given by Elliott and Quinn, Law for AQA state that “morals are beliefs and values which are shared by society, or a section of society; they tell those who share them what is right or wrong”.
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Working as a prostitute in private is not an offence, and neither is working as an outcall escort.

Hart, who was influenced by the theories of Mill, supported the report’s approach, stating that legal enforcement of a moral code was unnecessary and morally unacceptable, as it interferes with individual liberty. Devlin, on the other hand, was strongly opposed to the report, on what might be cited as a natural law approach. He felt that society had a certain moral standard, which the law had a duty to support, as society would disintegrate without a common morality.

The Wolfendon Report supported Professor Hart’s view that law and morality should be separate, however, various cases decided since the report show that judges are imposing their moral views in their judgments, such as in 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 were prosecuted, and convictions were upheld based on public policy to defend the morality of society. The law is therefore seen to attempt to uphold what it considers to be public morality, even if some may dispute the correctness of that moral code.
This is a contrast to the case of R v Wilson, the defendant branded his initials on his wife’s buttocks with a hot knife at her request. The scars led to


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