Law reflects morality. Moral decisions are personal; legal decisions are social -- everyone agrees that murder, for example, is immoral and illegal. However, many topics find their way into grey areas, what some individuals would deem inappropriate morals, others would deem acceptable. Enacting laws that enforce one morality over another...
Law reflects morality. Moral decisions are personal; legal decisions are social -- everyone agrees that murder, for example, is immoral and illegal. However, many topics find their way into grey areas, what some individuals would deem inappropriate morals, others would deem acceptable. Enacting laws that enforce one morality over another is laying the foundation for social strife. One group's morals cannot predominate over another. In as much as a proponent's morals are enacted into law, so opponents would view that law as immoral and unjust, and would disregard it.
Thoreau, in his Civil Disobedience, makes the case, for example, that taxes, although legal, are immoral. In his time, his tax money went to fund an army to conquer land from Mexico. He stopped paying his taxes in protest. "I become a majority of one," he wrote.
Each individual must determine his or her own morality, and from that, determine what law is acceptable. A culture therefore is the most vibrant when laws are in place to safeguard rights, and not to dictate a code of behavior or ethics. When that occurs, and the law is unjust in one's judgement, one is not bound.
Curiously, the US judicial branch included the concept of a jury law review -- if someone "broke the law" and could make the case that they did so for good reasons, the jury could not only determine guilt or innocence, but could state that even if a defendant had violated the law, the law itself was wrong and could be stricken from the books -- in other words, the defendant was innocent the law was wrong, and the offending law could be nullified. The legal thinking behind that process was that the legislative branch may have enacted a law; it was composed of a random group of representatives; the jury could nullify the law, as it was composed of a random group of jurors.
Had the original system of checks and balances remained in place, there would be fewer unjust laws; in fact, there would be fewer laws overall, and the laws remaining in place would be that much more justified, as everyone would clearly see the benefit to adhering to them. Good law enhances good law; bad law undermines all law.