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Ethical principles of law

The link between ethics and the law is still being debated. Both ethics and law deal with similar concerns.It has been stated that the relationship between ethics and law believes conscience to be the individual’s (ethics) protector for the rules the community has created for its preservation (law). However, the law has its limitations. The law cannot make people honest, kind, or fair. For example, while lying or breaching a trust is not illegal, it is immoral. 

In an ideal world, legal and ethical judgments would be recognized as distinct, with individuals keeping their moral biases out of the legal system. However, in today’s world, we find a blending of law and ethics which is why we need trained lawyers who have completed programs like an online juris doctorate. Programs like these help you master fundamental legal principles, conduct legal research and analysis, and develop your problem-solving and professional competencies in preparation for ethical practice.

Although the blending of the two can be problematic when a situation is manifestly damaging and illegal, regardless of the judge’s personal views and ideas. However, having a society that strives to live ethically can have a good impact on legal decisions because a community that agrees on what is ethically and morally acceptable will tend to agree on what is legally correct. This means that most citizens will be “law-compliant,” adhering to both the legal and ethical — or moral — systems.

Ethics and morality concern “good” and “wrong” behavior, and although they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same. Ethics refers to regulations established by an outside source, such as workplace codes of conduct or religious values. Morals are an individual’s personal principles of good and wrong. External norms supplied by institutions, communities, or cultures an individual belongs to are called ethics. Lawyers, police officers, and doctors, for example, must all adhere to an ethical code established by their profession, regardless of their feelings or inclinations. For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on the ethical principles of law.

Ethical principles of law

Ethical principles do not provide a simple rule that assures making an ethically sound option, nor do they help rank when the codes appear to clash. Instead, they point to factors that should be considered while making decisions.


The principle of autonomy governs the judgment of Congress before criminalizing something. Many people have stated that the right to independence, or the right to live as one wishes, is essential. Criminal law is used to prevent one person’s autonomy from interfering with the freedom of another. An example of the autonomy concept is allowing consenting homosexuals to be in a relationship, assuming it is illegal to be in a homosexual relationship under the law within that region. It would interfere with and affect the freedom of many homosexuals to live their lives as they see fit. When a law prohibits an activity that causes harm to society, the principle of autonomy applies.


People are treated ethically by respecting their decisions, keeping them safe, and taking steps to ensure their well-being. Beneficence is the concept that governs such treatment. The term “beneficence” is frequently used to refer to acts of kindness or generosity beyond the scope of strict obligation. Beneficence responsibilities influence individual investigators and society at large because they apply to specific research initiatives and the broader research economy. In many research areas involving human beings, goodwill has a well-defined justifying role.


The principle of “non-Maleficence” necessitates a purpose to avoid unnecessary harm or injury caused by acts of commission or omission. In layman’s terms, “negligence” occurs when you impose a reckless or unjustified risk of injury on someone. Non-maleficence reminds you that the most critical consideration when performing a task is to avoid causing harm.

Distribute justice

Justice is a broad ethical notion with applications ranging from fair treatment of persons to the equal allocation of healthcare expenditures and resources. Justice is concerned with the equitable distribution of advantages and obligations to individuals in social institutions and how different people’s rights are implemented. Given the difficulties in defining justice, it is reasonable to state that it involves equality, equitable treatment, and justice. Justice entails the application of justice to individuals in demographic groupings or communities. Individual aspects should be evaluated on their own merits to implement justice in any case. Each case is distinct and should be dealt with as such.

Being ethical in law

One of the oldest legal notions is the right to a fair trial. It also suggests that everyone has the right to legal counsel, regardless of whether they believe they are guilty. This is considered correct and proper. However, if lawyers declined to represent certain persons, how could we claim to be providing a fair and reasonable hearing to those accused? The law must treat us all equally, or it is not very meaningful. As a result, a lawyer who defends a criminal or suspect plays an essential role in the justice system. It is pretty simple to defend what they do, even if it sometimes means letting a criminal go free. However, there are sections of the law where the ethical considerations are even more difficult than in criminal litigation.

“What do I need ethics for?” you will often hear. “I can obey the law!” The law is how society has institutionalized the ethical standards that we are expected to follow. As a result, following the law will ensure that a person is acting morally! One method to see that laws and ethics are not the same is to look for examples of actions that are legal but immoral or illegal but ethically correct. If such situations could be found, we would know that the two categories cannot signify the same thing; we would also see that one cannot be contained within the other, as concentric circles are. Instead, we would understand that moral law is analogous to two intersecting rings.


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