The morals are concerned with the individual and law lays down rules for the moulding of this character, law concentrates mainly on the society and lays down rules concerning the Inaction ship of individuals with each other and with the State. Morals look to the intrinsic value of conduct or in other words, they look in to motive.
The morals are an end themselves. They should be followed because they are good in themselves. Law is for the purpose of convenience and expediency and its chief aim is to help a smooth running of the society.
The observance of morals is a matter of individual conscience. Generally, the morals are considered to be universal value. Law is relative related to the time and place, and therefore, it varies from society to society.
Law and Morals, again, differ in their application. The morals are applied taking into consideration on the individual cases whereas the application of law is uniform.
Now question arises before us that what is that relationship between Law and Morals. Really speaking, they are very closely related to each other. In considering the relationship between Law and Morals much will depend on how one defines law.
A Definition which regards law as ‘the command of the Sovereign’ would not make any concession for morals to have any place in law.
But a definition which regards all the rules and principles which govern or influence human conduct as law allows morals to play a very important role in the field of law.
A study of the relationship between law and morals can be made from three angles:
i. Morals as the basis of law.
ii. Morals as the test of (positive) law.
iii. Morals as the end of law.
As we have seen that in the early stages of the society no distinction was made between law and morals. All the rules originated from the common source, and the sanction behind them was of the same nature (mostly supernatural fear).
When State came into being, it picked up those rules which were important from the society’s point of view and the observation of which could be secured by it. The State put its own sanction behind these rules and enforces them.
These rules were called ‘Law’ as the law and morals have come from the common stock many rules are common to both.
For example to kill a man or to steel are acts against law and morals both. These are number or legal rules which are not based upon morals and some of them are even opposed to morals.
It has been contended by a number of jurists, since very early times that law must confirm to morals. This view was supported by the Greek and Romans.
In, Rome, law to some extent was made to confirm to ‘natural law’ which was based on certain moral principle and as a result us civil was transformed in to ‘jus gonium’. They said that law, even if it is not inconformity with morals, is valid and binding.
Generally, law cannot depart far from the morals due to may reasons. The law does not enforce itself. There are a number of factors which secure the obedience of law.
The conformity of law with morals is a very important factor. There is always a very close relation between the law and the life of a community and in the life of the community morals have got an important place.
Paten rightly observed that if the lags behind popular standard it falls into disrepute, if the legal standard is too high, there are great difficulties of enforcement.
Morals have often been considered to be the end of law. A number of eminent jurists have defined law in term of ‘justice’. Then say that the aim of ‘law’ is to secure justice. Justice in its popular sense is very much based upon morals.
In most of the languages of the world the words used of law convey an idea of justice and morals also. As per sociological approach this study is very important.
It says that law has always a purpose it is a means to an end, and this end is the welfare of the society. According to this utilitarian point of view immediate end of law is to secure social interests, that is, to secure harmony of claims or demands.
It means that the conflicting interest (in the society) should be weighed and evaluated and the interests who can bring greater benefit with the least sacrifice should be recognised and protected.
Thus ultimately morals become the end of law. This end has been expressed in the constitution of many countries.
In this way morals work as a restraint upon the power of the legislature because the legislatures cannot venture to make a law which is completely against the morals of the society. Secondly all human conduct and social relations cannot be regulated and governed by law alone.
A considerable number of them are regulated by morals. On International law also morals are exercising a great influence.
The brutalities and inhuman acts in world’s wars made the people to turn back to morals and efforts are being made to establish standard and values which the nations must follow. Perhaps there is no other so forceful ground to justify the Nuremberg trials as morals.