There are various rules other than legal rules that we come across in our daily lives. They include, private rules, rules of natural justice, rules of morality and rules of law and it is those two last rules that we will be discussing the relationship between. However, first we need to define the meaning of 'The Law' and 'Morality' and show how they overlap in our society. The law can be described as rules that have been established by the state or country that we as a society need to uphold and follow and if we do not then we will be punished with either imprisonment or by some other means of punishment.
These rules vary from country to country but they are put in place to regulate conduct within each society. Without the law the country, or our society would be in chaos. Morality comes into our lives everyday, choices that we make. Each individual has different morals what they think is right or wrong or good or bad and what they think is an acceptable form of conduct in our society. Christianity it would seem, played a big part in our legal rules of today as you will see. For example, as the Ten Commandments say, “Thou shalt not steal”, this is a moral rule but it is also part of the Theft Act of 1968 so it's a legal rule too.
We would never encourage murder and most of us would say this is a moral rule but some would do this act without any moral qualms. The Ten Commandments also say, “Thou shalt not kill” which is an offence under the common law and in effect a legal rule. Committing adultery some would say is a moral rule and not as such a legal rule. However, this can be used in the case of a divorce in saying that one of the parties committed adultery and thus making it a legal rule. Telling lies is perhaps morally wrong but can be used as a legal rule in the case of perjury, which means lying under oath.
Abortion is not illegal so long as it takes place and follows the Abortion Act. Homosexuality acts between two consenting adults is not illegal. However, many of us would think some or all of these acts are immoral. If someone parked on a double yellow line it is illegal but not a lot of us would find this morally offensive. In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that morality and the law can overlap in our society. However, these laws that we follow or ones that perhaps we create through our morals need to be acceptable to society as a whole. We have seen that if they are not then society can seek to change this.
For example, back in the 90's the reaction to the 'Poll Tax' was unpopular to the public and with pressure on Parliament it was replaced by the 'Council Tax'. Society were unhappy and felt this to be an immoral rule and thus expressed their opinion and it was changed to a more acceptable rule for society. Finally, does the law and should the law depend on moral values? We have seen that morals do influence the law and yes the law does depend on moral values. We have also seen that the law can be adaptable to change as society changes so long as the society we live in is one that is acceptable and most of the time agreeable with society.