As abiding citizens in a democratic modern society, we are restricted to following laws set by the government. Rule of law is generally understood to be that, “individuals, persons and government shall submit to, obey and be regulated by law, and not arbitrary action by an individual or a group of individuals” (UN Rule of Law Charter). However, in certain situations the law may be insufficient to support and rule a group of people. Thus, it is justified to undermine the law to pursue change. To undermine is defined as a threat, or eroding the base or foundation of. It does not necessarily mean to, without reservation, break the law, but rather to damage a law’s reputation. In these circumstances, undermining the law is only justified when a group of people can affect a significant change without bloodshed. From Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance in India to the civil rights movement in the United States, peaceful movements have become key elements of political change. Undermining the rule of law peacefully is justified when conventional politics are not responsive in situations that violate justice, human rights, and or cause oppression to a body of people. When there has been need for social change, individuals and groups of people have achieved change through three approaches. The first approach in achieving change is through the government. Within an authoritarian government, the capacity an individual has to create change efficiently is highly restricted and difficult. Although a representative government gives individuals the ability to voice their opinions at different levels of the ladder system, citizens are still limited due to the imbalance among decision makers when power is challenged. The second approach is through violence. In the past this approach often uses force to take control of a government, engage in armed struggle, or use brutality against other citizens to enact change. Violence is not justifiable as it causes more harm and problems to an already unjust situation. Although a group of people may be oppressed and in danger, posing more risks to humans is still not a justifiable way in achieve a goal. Throughout history, violent revolutions have been more common. Yet, nonviolent action as a way to publicize an issue, demonstrate passionate beliefs, and make a government more accountable of their action is a more beneficial tool to affect laws. This approach includes strikes, rallies, campaigns, boycotts, and peaceful revolutions. Nonviolence has more strengths than commonly recognized and is an effective way to achieve social change and deter aggressors. Certainly, if one can easily enact change by going through the justice system they should. However, considering the situation and purpose of their goal to enact change, participating in a nonviolent movement is justified because it causes no harm and is a passionate display to overthrow an iniquitous law which then gains enough recognition to make the government power reconsider. Furthermore, nonviolence to achieve a beneficial ends can be examined through Henry David Thoreau’s essay, Resistance to Civil Disobedience. Thoreau was an American author, philosopher, and abolitionist during the 1800s. He gained literary acclaim for his published essay through his argument about justified disobedience to an unjust state. He states, “If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law” (Civil Disobedience). Thus, his sole purpose was to explain that breaking the law for a justifiable cause is reasonable. Nonviolence is interpreted as a form of civil disobedience. The influence of his work set precedent that allowed nonviolent movements to rebel against what they deemed to be unfair laws. To further justify this statement, the Gettysburg Address shows that the government was founded on the idea of the people’s choice and will. The United States government is written to
The expression ‘the rule of law’ has changed over time, with different meanings developing at different era’s in time. Despite being widely claimed to be the most important element that underpins the Australian legal system, legal theorist constantly struggle to conjure up a succinct definition for ‘the rule of law.’ There are many legal theorists who have offered their own interpretations on the concept of ‘the rule of law.’ This essay examines the explanation that has been developed by many legal…
UNIT #1 TEST REVIEW
Democracy, Rule of Law, Notwithstanding Clause, House of commons
Things to know
charter of rights of freedoms (1982)
reasonable limits clause
public law (the crown vs. you)
private law (you vs someone else)
a law that can generally be used except in this particular case
the law gets taken out
code of hammurabi (3800 years ago)
The Relationship between Economics and Law in China
China’s economic, political, and legal systems have drawn much attention in recent decades. The country’s unique circumstances and qualities make it a rich subject of study. China’s most remarkable characteristic is its unique ability to achieve unparalleled economic growth with its developing property and contract laws.
Economics and law affect each other. The relationship between a country’s economic progress and its legal system is widely…
are of the view that a duty of care would be held to be owed by the opposing players and that they would have foreseen that spear-tackling could cause serious injury.
2) Breach of Duty of Care
Law 10.4(e) of the IRB rules prohibits spear-tackles. Although these rules are not law, they can be used to support your case for negligence if they have been breached. It is our view that a Court would find, based on the video evidence, that the players breached their duty of care.…
International Law is defined by the United Nations to be the legal responsibilities of States in their conduct with each other, and their treatment of individuals within State boundaries. There has been significant discussion by all theories of jurisprudence as regards the character of international law, and whether or not it is consider to be true law. Most positivist theory were confined by the principle of sovereignty for their interpretation of international law however Hart provides two key…
Evaluate the role of the judiciary in the formulation and interpretation of legal rules.
There are two ways in which judges can formulate and interpret legal rules: Judicial Precedent and Statutory Interpretation.
A judicial precedent is a decision of the court used as a source for future decision making. This is known as Stare Decisis which means to stand upon decisions, and this means that precedents are authoritative and binding and must be followed. This means that a decision made by the Supreme…
Philosophers of Law
LS490 – Unit 3
John Austin published the Province of Jurisprudence after ending his career as a professor at London University (Murphy, 2007). In the 19th and 20th centuries’ philosophy of law was influenced by the works of Austin. Austin’s concept of law involves the correlation of commands and obedience (Murphy, 2007). Austin’s theory is based on general commands not specific commands provided to citizens to obey. These commands are provided…
disagree with a law or rule. Everyone in this world is required to obey this law, but your beliefs do not allow you to do the same. You can not carry on with being an obedient citizen so you break the rules. In the conclusion of breaking the laws, you have gotten into serious trouble. You are no longer living safe and in harmony. You are asking me if it is justifiable to break the rules in certain circumstances. I think in no circumstances should it be justifiable to break the rules or laws. First, going…
A law is a rule of conduct that tell us the appropriate behaviour or action in a specific circumstance. Law is usually established by a lawful authority. Another definition is that it is a body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority.
Distinguish between customs, rules, laws, values and ethics:
Customs: A custom is a practice or behaviour that has developed over a long period of time. It can develop into a tradition and…
Introduction to Law
Legal Ethics 1
Ethics are attitudes, dispositions, or character traits that permit us to be and to operate in ways that develop this potential. Ethics provide us with moral principles or universal rules that tell us what to do. They enable us to pursue the ideas was have accepted; honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, and prudence. Legal ethics encompasses an ethical code governing the conduct of persons…