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Philosophy of Law

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Philosophy of Law essay
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The argument that Fuller makes in “The Morality of Law” is intriguing and requires a second look at the Riggs. V. Palmer (1889) case. I believe that the proper procedure would have been to allow Riggs to inherit his inheritance although that would have allowed a murderer to inherit from his victims which is morally unjust, as no murderer should ever inherit from his victim. But the main point of contention is that the law did not specifically forbid Riggs from his inheritance and it’s from this problem with the law itself that resulted in a dispute between two different standpoints. It is important to be morally just but important to follow the law, because if the judge doesn’t follow the law, what makes it seem the citizens will follow the law that wasn’t followed. It shows a precedent that some laws aren’t meant to be followed which is problematic.

Fuller discusses eight principles in regarding what an ideal society’s law would look like, one these we already discussed – that law cannot be retrospective meaning that laws can only regulate future behaviour, but this is also important to his response to hart in “Positivism and Fidelity to Law –A Reply to Prof. Hart” where they talk about the rise of Nazi rule in Germany and how that was a slow change in morality. It started with the small things and gradually changed to the point where law was no longer bound in morality. That’s an important point in contrast to Harts point. Hart took the view where morality and law were separate when you separate law and morality it can lead to rise of Germany under Hitler’s rule.

The reason why law works is because there is a morality behind it. However, I can also contend that there are some laws that don’t necessarily need a moral background and is just done in the name of civilization – parking laws, etc. At this point I’m torn between the two arguments but I do lean towards Fuller.

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