UPPSC/UPPCS Mains- Answer writing practice
Discuss the relationship between Ethics and Law? Also include some examples to illustrate the relationship. (200 w)
नैतिकता और कानून के बीच संबंध पर चर्चा करें? रिश्ते को चित्रित करने के लिए कुछ उदाहरण भी शामिल करें। (200 w)
Ethics is a reasoned framework of moral principles, which is concerned with what is good for individuals and society. However, law is structured system of rules and regulations enforced through certain authority to govern individual’s behavior, actions and social relations.
Relationship between Law and Ethics
· Both laws and ethics are systems which maintain a set of moral values and prevent people from violating them. They both provide guidelines to people of what they may or may not do in certain situations. Most laws represent the minimum standards of ethical human behavior.
· It is when certain ethical principles become widely accepted, they are codified into laws. For example, ‘motherhood’ in our society is considered to be sacrosanct and does not trade for monetary value. Therefore, the law regulating surrogacy in India allows only altruistic surrogacy.
· Foremost, law provides for punishment for violation- a legally enforceable action by the competent authority. Ethics on the other hand may invite social sanction, but no legally enforceable punishment in a court of law.
· There may be many areas where law does not exist or is silent. But ethics and morals have a wider scope. For example, the law will not bind a businessman to tell his competitor about their new client
that has a reputation of not paying dues, but ethics will still guide judgment here.
· Ethics may vary from people to people because different people may have different opinions on a certain issue, but laws describe clearly what is illegal no matter what individual opinions people have of them.
· To some extent, ethics is not well defined but laws are defined and precise.
· Ethics as a code of conduct may evolve as a society matures, but laws need to be changed through specific action of the legislature.
The relationship between law and ethics is dynamic and a function of its time. Ethics guide laws. Changing ethical and moral standards lead to amendment or invalidation of existing laws. For example, The Right to Information was enacted to codify the ethics of transparency in government functioning. Similarly, earlier homosexuality was widely perceived as unnatural and immoral. But with the social progression, Section 377 has been declared unconstitutional in so far as it criminalized “consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex”.
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