Public vs Private morality? Part 2

Hart, who was influenced by the theories of Mill, criticised tautological equating society with its values and supported the report. He takes a pragmatic approach to argue Devlin’s argument and states there is no evidence if you deviate from one part, the whole society will fail. Hart, being a legal positive, upholds a more liberal view that a legal system can function perfectly fine without the connexion of legal systems and morality. Unless something is harmful to society, the government has no right to interfere in the lives of citizens.

Hart is a strong believer in that morality should not be pressured by criminal law. And, that if citizens do not follow moral codes there will be no social disintegration. He argues that there are legal systems put in place to prevent certain harmful acts known as the “Harm Principle.” He makes a point that Devlin has no evidence to support immoral sexual acts done in private are harmful to society. This was seen in the Double Glazing Glasgow case. Hart supported the report and believed it was unnecessary for the law to enforce moral standards because society was capable of containing many moral standpoints without disintegrating and that it would infringe freedom of the individual. He laid down four reasons why law should not uphold morals

To conclude, Devlin believes society would fall apart if morality did not exist, and Hart believes privacy should be respected and imposing laws on this would only create problems for individuals.

Continue reading “Public vs Private morality? Part 2”