Legal Moralism

The view that criminal law ought to prohibit immoral behavior has historically found favor among practicing jurists and legislators. Legal moralism is the view that criminal law has a legitimate responsibility to prohibit and impose sanctions against activities generally regarded as immoral, even if these activities are performed in private and with the consent of all adults involved, which speaks to the issue of a violation of one’s right to privacy. Some sexual behavior (e.g., homosexuality, sodomy, prostitution), gambling, drug use, pornography, and even suicide and euthanasia are defined as wrong and prohibited by law in some jurisdictions. While few dispute the legitimacy of law in enforcing some parts of morality (e.g., the immorality of murder), legal moralists maintain that criminal sanctions are necessary even ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles