Can Breaking the Law Ever Be Justified? - 694 Words | …

A reason for Rawls to defend this coordination requirement is that,in most cases, it serves a more important concern, namely, theachievement of good consequences. It is often argued that civildisobedience can only be justified if there is a high probability ofproducing positive change through that disobedience. Only this canjustify exposing one's society to the risk of harm. The harms usuallyidentified with civil disobedience are as follows. First, civildisobedience can be a divisive force in society. Second, since civildisobedience is normally designed to attract public attention, it canlead people, as a result, to think of resorting to disobedience toachieve whatever changes in law or policy they find justified (Raz1979, 262). Third, civil disobedience can encourage more than justother civil disobedience; it can encourage a general disrespect for thelaw, particularly where the law is perceived as being lenient towardcertain kinds of offences.

Can breaking the law ever be justified

When Breaking the Law Is Justified | By Antonia …

When Breaking the Law Is Justified

There are reasons to believe that civil disobedients should be dealtwith more severely than ordinary offenders are. First, there is thefact that disobedients seem to have put themselves above the law inpreferring their own moral judgment about a certain issue to that ofthe democratic decision-making process and the rule of law. (Althoughsome judges have endorsed this caricature, it is worth noting that itclashes with how both dissenters and many theorists characterise theiractivities; cf. Rawls 1971; Greenawalt 1987; Markovits 2006.)Second, the communicative aspect of civil disobedience could be said toaggravate such offences since it usually is attended by much greaterpublicity than most covert violations are. This forces legalauthorities to concern themselves with the possibility that law-abidingcitizens will feel distressed, insecure and perhaps imposed on if noaction is taken. So, notes Greenawalt, while authorities may quietlylet minor breaches pass, failure to respond to violations performed, insome respect, in the presence of authority, may undercut claims thatthe rules and the persons who administered them deserve respect(Greenawalt 1987, 351–2). Third, any use of violence would seem toaggravate civil disobedience particularly when it increases the harm ofthe offence or when it directly incites further and unjustifiedinstances of violence. And although violence may eloquently communicatea dissenter's seriousness and frustration, it changes the natureof the dialogue. It pushes authorities to respond in ways consonantwith their stance on violence – responses which may be harsherthan those they would otherwise wish to make toward acts of civildisobedience that defend values they can appreciate.

In your own opinion, could breaking the law ever be justified?

For desert and communicative theories concerned solely withjustice-based desert, the key question is whether disobedients deservecensure, and if so, how much? There are at least three possiblereplies. One is that disobedients deserve the same punishment as theordinary offenders who breach the same laws. There are several reasonsto take this view. First, as Greenawalt puts it, the demands ofproportionality would seem to recommend a uniform application of legalprohibitions. Since trespass is prohibited, persons who breach trespasslaws in protest of either those laws or other laws are equally liableto persons who breach trespass laws for private purposes. Second, alsofrom Greenawalt comes the suggestion that any principle that officialsmay excuse justified illegal acts will result in some failures topunish unjustified acts, for which the purposes of punishment would bemore fully served. Even when officials make correct judgments aboutwhich acts to excuse, citizens may draw mistaken inferences, andrestraints of deterrence and norm acceptance may be weakened forunjustified acts that resemble justified ones (Greenawalt 1987, 273).Therefore all such violations, justified and unjustified, should betreated the same.

In your own opinion, could breaking the law ever be justified
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Deterrence systems of punishment recommend a simple approach tocivil disobedience. Since the purpose and justification of punishmentis to deter people from breaching the law, a deterrence system wouldimpose on civil disobedients whatever punishment was necessary andsufficient to achieve that end. Whether that punishment would be lessor more severe than, or equal to, that imposed on ordinary offendersdepends on empirical considerations. Sometimes greater punishment thanthat required for ordinary offenders would be in order sincedisobedients who are serious in their moral conviction may not bedeterred by standard punishments. Other times, however, less punishmentthan that for ordinary offenders would be in order since disobedientsusually are not ‘hardened’ criminals and thus may need lesssevere treatment to deter them from offending.

Contacts Us; is breaking the law ever justified in antempt to change the law

Can breaking the law ever be justified?

The state, headed by the Inca emperor and nobles, dominatedeveryone; but they provided for all the needs of the people. Theemperor was called the friend of the poor. Those in distress receivedfood from state storehouses, even if they had just been defeatedin war. The aged were given food from state warehouses if theydrove birds away from the fields. The emperor's word was law,and judges were expected to follow royal edicts. Crime was rare;if it was motivated by some need, the official responsible fornot meeting the need might be punished. Disputes between provinceswere settled by royal envoys or by the emperor himself. Treasonand disobedience of the emperor were punished with death as weremurder, arson, theft from the state, desertion from the army orpublic service, and breaking into a convent. Only a governor orthe emperor could decree a capital punishment, and a who did so was punished. Inca nobles were judged only by the courtof twelve judges in Cuzco. Women and the lower class were notallowed to testify. Nobles guilty of adultery were executed, butcommoners were only tortured. Another punishment was to be sentto work on the hot coca plantations.

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who break the law think they are morally justified is the one in ..

And what makes people voluntarily obey laws when they do is eitherthat they believe the law is in conformity with what is morally right (orif it is a procedural law, they believe it does not conflict with whatis right) and is just and beneficial, or they believe that the particularlaw at issue is not so bad, even if wrong, that it is justified to break,either because breaking it would cause more harm than not breaking it orbecause breaking it would risk undermining the general cultural respectfor law. But many morally good people will disobey laws they think arevery wrong, either in a form of civil disobedience, or in order to getaway with it (as in speeding on a long straight, flat, open road with notraffic, in the West, particularly when the speed limit was 55 mph), becausethey believe the law does not have moral authority then. And if the governmentpasses sufficiently many bad laws, or sufficiently egregious laws, it willlose obedience by rebellion or revolution, because citizens will believe(sometimes correctly) that the laws and the government are too immoralto have any authority that deserves their obedience.