In this article, we will be analyzing the relationship between law and morality and whether there is a connection between the two.
Now, law is any rules and regulations created by an authority in order to govern the people living in a state. Meriam Webster’s definition of law includes, “the action of laws considered as a means of redressing wrongs.” “Law and morality can be understood as concepts, but any attempt made to define them becomes difficult. Laws are concerned with legal rights and duties which are protected and enforced by the State. They are backed by sanction, and therefore if one disobeys the laws of the State, they are liable to be punished. Morality categorizes human behavior as good or bad. The cannons of morality however are based on moral duties and obligations. If one does not adhere to the standards of morality that is prescribed, he cannot be held legally liable. However, morality involves incentives of sorts. When we do the right thing, we experience virtue and enjoy praise and when we do the wrong thing, we suffer guilt and disapprobation.” Therefore, both, law and morality in a way govern human conduct.
As such there are various definitions of laws and morality. None which are definite, and all scholars have their own interpretations of the same. In my opinion both of these concepts are dependent on each other. I would like to state few examples for this statement.
- Abortion was not only illegal but considered a grave sin in Christianity, however eventually with time, it became legal in certain medico-legal cases,
- In Islam, polygamy was allowed, nevertheless with evolution of laws, it was made illegal. As such adultery is considered a crime in many countries and second marriages are only considered legal in cases where one of the the spouse is either divorced or dead.
- In Hinduism, the practice of Sati was very prevalent (a Hindu practice, now largely historical, in which a widow sacrifices herself by sitting atop her deceased husband’s funeral pyre), then again, now that too has been deemed unconstitutional.
Quoting one of the papers that further discusses the relationship of law and morality: “The relationship between law and morality is related to the nature of law as sensed by Legal Positivism and Natural Law. Natural Law being “valued laden‟ and concerned with the subject matter of law, argues in favor of maintaining a close relationship between law and morality while, legal positivism being concerned with the „form‟ of law has maintained a strict sense of separation between law and morality. The Greek political system favored an intrinsic relationship between law and morality, and this became apparent in Plato’s Theory of Justice where the virtuous Philosopher king became to be identified with Law itself. Aristotle too associated legal authority with the personal virtues of the ruler. Heinrich Rommen credits Epicureans as the „first legal positivists‟ but Roman Law developed the base for legal positivism. Greek culture was closer to Natural law as the legal authority was identified with virtuous ruler whereas Roman Law was closer in its nature to legal positivism. In Roman Law, an action was authoritative if it could be traced through writing to a ground or source. This method was called auctoritas, which meant authority or prestige. It went to the issue of legitimacy. If one had auctoritas then an official was obeyed even if disagreed with the substantive content of the official „s utterance or conduct. Greeks maintained the relationship between law and morality, and this became apparent in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics .”
Difference between law and morality
Law and morality in all likelihood are interdependent to a magnitude that they have not many but a few similarities. These similarities included certain common goals. In the below points morality and law have been distinguished the best possible ways. They are:
- “Law is derived from an external source which means that it is obtained through rules and regulations. Morality emerges from internal sources, i.e., it comes from the individual mind of a person.
- Law treats all people in the same manner and doesn’t change from person to person, but morality is a subjective concept.
- Morality has influenced the creation of laws, but morality existed in society since even before legal implications were discussed.
- Disobedience of the law leads to punishment but there are no repercussions of doing anything morally wrong.
- Laws lay down mandatory behavior that is expected out of the people who are governed under the said law. However, morality does not lay down strict guidelines of how one should behave but is a more personal concept.”
Morality & Law Debate: “The debate regarding the severability of laws and morals from each other has been debated by Hart and Fuller. Hart is a positivist, while Fuller supported the Natural Law School of Jurisprudence. Hart was of the position that law and morals are separate, while Fuller argued that law is dependent on the morals of society. Society shapes the way law exists and the content of the law. In addition to these two thinkers, Dworkin’s criticism of Hart’s theory also is important because in light of the criticisms Hart changed his stance from a hard positivist to a soft positivist.
It is argued that law restricts individual freedoms, thus it needs a moral justification that would justify the imposition of the restriction. For a legal rule to govern the population, it has to have some efficacy on the population. If the people who are to be governed by this law itself do not accept the content of the law, then people will revolt. Thus, the justification of the law becomes necessary.” 
 Law Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster  International Journal of Law and Legal Jurisprudence Studies: ISSN:2348-8212: Volume 4 Issue 2 THE RELEVANCE OF THE HART & FULLER DEBATE RELATING TO LAW AND MORALITY- A CRITICAL ANALYSIS Sonali Banerjee. Retrieved from: Jurisprudence_draft.pdf (ijlljs.in)  Sati (practice) - Wikipedia  202004021910158290bhanu_pratap_LAW_AND_MORALITY_3.pdf (lkouniv.ac.in)  All about law and morality - iPleaders  Analysing the concept of morality in law from the perspective of Critical Legal Studies - iPleaders