Reflections on Law and Its Inner Morality


Authors
Csaba Varga
Pazmany Peter Catholic University Of Hungary
Abstract
1. Law and morals as two systems of norms, and the inner morality of law 2. Law as a value bearer and as a mere external indicator 3. The inner and external moral credit of legislator 4. The inner morality of law. As to the last paragraph, the most striking feature of the inner morality of law is that it is such a possible characteristic, surplus quality which is not a sine qua non, which law is conceivable without. However, it is a question whether law can long do without it? In principle, the legislator is free in deciding on what legal consequence he attaches to what course of conduct14 and it is also desirable that legal concepts be freed from moral overtones. Nevertheless, the legal complex cannot be torn out of its social context, nor can it steadily conflict with other complexes (religions, moral, or political values, norms and ideologies) law is to develop in living interrelationship with. Otherwise, it is subject to danger that (I) law-observance in average cases is weakened; (2) the reified functioning of and approach to law are strengthened and make law alienated; and (3) it blurs the social objectives the law intends to serve and, especially in hard cases, makes its application rootless and floating. A pathological situation only becomes more pathological, if the pathology of contents is accompanied by the pathology of means. Or, it brings the promise of real solution closer, if the adequateness of means also provides, by the strength of publicity, for the direct mobilization of society. That explains why it is a topical question what I have proposed to term the inner morality of law. [For the text, see my L&Ph, 77–89]
Keywords law and morals  morality of law  Law as value bearer / mere external indicator  inner/external moral credit of legislator   inner morality of law
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