Legal skills and debates in Scotland
Legal skills and debates in Scotland

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Legal skills and debates in Scotland

3.2 Differences between law and morality

Behaviour which is commonly regarded as immoral is often also illegal. However, legal and moral principles can be distinguished from each other. For instance, parking on a double yellow line is illegal but not commonly regarded as immoral.

Table 1 Some differences between morality and law

Law Morality
Sanctions are invariably imposed for the infringement of a legal obligation There is no official sanction for immoral behaviour, although society often creates its own form of censorship
Law is deliberately changed by Parliament and/or the courts Morality cannot be deliberately changed, rather it evolves slowly
Legal principles need to incorporate a degree of certainty Morality is invariably much more flexible and variable
WXM151_3

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus