What is law? It is a body of rules, either written or unwritten, that govern behavior and rights. There are many definitions of law, but generally speaking, it is a system of rules and procedures enacted by the government. Some have called law a science and others call it the art of justice. State-enforced laws are typically made by a single or group legislature, or by the executive through decrees and the judiciary in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals may also make binding contracts, arbitration agreements, and other forms of law.
The fundamental elements of constitutional law are human rights, civil liberties, and the division of governmental powers. Constitutional law also protects citizens under the rule of law. Human rights refer to the natural rights of all people. Civil liberties are specific rights that a person has under the Constitution. For example, a person may be entitled to free speech. If a person is denied those rights, their constitutional rights are protected. This protection is vital to the survival of democracy.
The federal constitution is a collection of laws that outline the government’s authority. State constitutions are separate, but all are based on the same basic framework. Constitutional law has also impacted important areas of American society, including medicine, reproduction, abortions, privacy, and end of life issues. The American constitution is a living document that defines the government’s rights and responsibilities to the people. For many people, this document represents a cornerstone of the American political system.
In theory, criminal law is a moral code that helps alter social morality by bringing neglected values to the attention of community members. However, the law can also displace itself from the motivational horizon of community members by causing them to refrain from certain conduct for moral reasons but without reference to the criminal law. If we want to avoid violence, for example, we should focus on the prevention of crime. Here are some reasons why criminal law should not be abolished.
In criminal law, crimes are against society, state, or public. Penalties for criminal offenses include jail time, fines, and the loss of liberty. Of course, accused criminals have rights and can be convicted. However, a guilty verdict does not mean an immediate prison sentence. In addition to fines and jail time, criminals may be ordered to pay restitution for their crimes, and their victims have rights to appeal the decision.
The rule by law concept debases the concept of legality. In the homicide of George Floyd by law enforcement, it is not clear whether the officers involved in the arrest and subsequent shooting had used excessive force, but the use of lethal force was previously reviewed. Similarly, in a recent tweet, Donald Trump endorsed an extrajudicial response to the protests in Minneapolis. Such an action would defy all principles of the rule by law.
The concept of rule by law is rooted in moral and philosophical conceptions. The tenants of the rule by law include equality before the law and the belief that no one is above the law. Consequently, any law that is broken should be equally punished. Hence, rule by law requires that people follow the law regardless of their economic, social, or religious status. A state that follows the rule of law is the only society that can maintain a stable, democratic society.
“Principles of inner morality of law” is a controversial concept in law and ethics, and is largely the preserve of philosophers and legal academics. It suggests that a law can only have moral value if it serves some broader goal. As Fuller points out, there is a difference between ‘control by rule’ and ‘control by morality.’ As such, the question of the morality of law is not directly addressed in Fuller’s text.
This idea is at the heart of legal positivism. But Fuller goes beyond this idea. He argues that laws have moral standards. And he argues that these moral standards are essential to law’s efficacy. The concept of morality is more complicated than a list of rules. Despite Fuller’s many principles, he is generally supportive of the Rule of Law. This is because law consists of a system of rules that govern human conduct.