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Day 69 – Q 2. A person well versed in law but having low moral values can’t be a good judge. Do you agree? Substantiate your views. 

  • IASbaba
  • August 28, 2020
  • 0
Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. A person well versed in law but having low moral values can’t be a good judge. Do you agree? Substantiate your views. 

अच्छी तरह से कानून में निपुण है लेकिन कम नैतिक मूल्य रखने वाला एक व्यक्ति एक अच्छा न्यायाधीश नहीं हो सकता है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।

Demand of the question – Your views regarding the conditions of a person who has low moral values but is well versed in law not being a good judge is sought wherein your views need to be substantiated properly.

Introduction

Morality stems from individual’s conscience and values of a society, therefore, what morality means to one, may not be to other. Whereas, laws are the rules and regulations which has sanction of the state and enforceability on its back. Law of the land is regulations where an individual has to submit himself to the will of the state or society.

Body

  • According to the sources of Hindu Law like Shrutis, Smritis and Vedas, there was no distinction between law and morality. Ancient times speaks that both the terms conveyed same meaning. It is evident that both law and morality serve to channel the behaviour of an individual. 
  • In modern times, morality is the basis of law only at the places where the law accepts the grounds of morals for making it otherwise, in contemporary world, morality and law has different meaning. Law can be identified without any reference to morality.
  • Some people think judges should not be reasoning morally at all. They think judges should just find the law and apply it to the cases that come before them, in a way that is independent of their own values and principles. 
  • Their responsibility to the law means that their assignment is to discover the results of other people’s moral reasoning — the moral reasoning of the framers of the Constitution or the moral reasoning of legislators or the moral reasoning of earlier generations of judges — and to apply those results to the cases that come before them. 
  • On this account, the fact that judges would be as good or bad in their personal moral conduct which shouldn’t affect the functioning of judge and he/she can still be considered a good joke on the basis of his expertise in law. 
  • But most sophisticated jurists no longer accept this simple division of labour, in which judges never reason morally but simply discover and apply the results of others ’ moral reasoning. Many believe that even if judges have a responsibility to find and apply the law, they also, sometimes, have to engage in moral reasoning as an inescapable part of their role.
  • “Law as a system of values” where the relationship between law and values is “not a straightforward one”. By “values” one meant to include “what a society regards as most worthwhile. 
  • Often values are moral values but they need not be; and moral values certainly need not be founded on the doctrines of religion in general or any religion in particular.”
  • Many legal rules were intended to “give effect to certain basic values of a society”, and this provided “much of the moral force which is needed to support positive rules of law, in particular the rules of criminal law.” A society could not function without rules prohibiting murder or theft. 
  • Here, we can see that a person having low morals will not be able to be a good judge as his low morals will impact the decisions where his moral arguments are to be incorporated in the process.
  • However, just because something was considered by many to be morally wrong did not necessarily mean that it would be, or should be, prohibited by law. Examples are adultery.
  • Law reflected the values of the society, but that did not necessarily mean everyone in that society agreed with the values reflected. Examples were the law on abortion or gay marriage.
  • Even though the secular courts now disavow any duty or intention to enforce morals, the law which they apply is still based on and reflects values. 
  • Law and morality might seem very diverse but they have one obvious thing in common: they affect the way we live. The problem is that it is inevitable to say that there is a huge conflict between law and morality and this conflict shows itself on some specific examples. 
  • In today’s world some of the law experts may claim that law is absolute. Its importance is over than all other regulators like morality. However the conflict between them proves that moral principles are still stronger than legal principles for some cases.
  • They also overlap like to keep your own promise is a rule of morality but also it is essential principle of international law, code of obligations and more. 

Conclusion

It is said that morality cannot be legislated and thus a person with low morals is bound to influence the justice process based on law and morality where a person with strong morality and clear acumen in law can be an effectively good judge. 

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