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Just And Unjust Laws: Should The Unjust Laws Be Obeyed?

742 words - 3 pages

"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." Martin Luther King's words, which just correspond with the above assertion, perfectly tell us what to do in face of laws, either just or unjust.

To be sure, modern laws are made to express the general will, a will that aims at the common good. This means that laws in most cases intend to protect every social member’s rights under the principle of justice and fairness. For telling examples one need to look no further than American judicial system. The access to the two courts systems, one federal court and one state court, provides citizens with the greatest potential to have their legal problems resolved quickly and justly. Besides, the entire U.S. legal system depends upon the involvement and integrity of citizens in the roles of parties, witnesses, jurors, legal counsel and judges, making the legislation, judgment and enforcement respecting more citizens' will, which is probably based on various interests, so that laws can be as just as possible. Therefore, modern laws are in nature pursuing to treat and protect every individual in the society.

However, there once existed or exists certain unjust laws around the world. A number of ancient laws were made specially to protect the interests of the upper class, such as the King, the Pope and the aristocrats. Besides, it is also hard to rule out the possibility of modern laws being unjust for several reasons. Firstly, injustice is sometimes unavoidable, since it is difficult for legislator to take every situation and every possible result into account. Secondly, justice is a concept with relativity that different individual may view the same law with opposite opinions due to their religion or status. To be specific, the law on abortion is always a controversial issue, since individual with certain religious beliefs consider it unjust for new lives to allow mothers to abort their babies legally, while people with other religious beliefs think it just to provide every mother with the right to decide whether to have the baby. Thirdly, due to the limitation of the times, such as the phase of social development and human...

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