Are morals always relative? Are private actionsamong consenting adults always beyond the law? Or are there some behaviors which so weaken a society that common beliefs about right and wrong must be enforced to protect the common good?
In opposing the decriminalization of private acts of homosexuality in Britain, Patrick Devlin maintained that not only is it reasonable to allow popular morality to influence lawmaking, it is imperative: “ . . . For a society is not something that is kept together physically; it is held by the invisible bonds of common thought.”
Today, as divisive issues such as same-sex marriage and “don’t ask, don’t tell” confront our legislative, judicial, and executive branches, the views expressed by Devlin in The Enforcement of Morals resonate and reverberate anew.
Patrick Devlin (1905–1992) studied history and law at Cambridge University and became a successful lawyer.
|Publisher:||Liberty Fund Inc.|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
Table of Contents
I Morals and the Criminal Law 1
II Morals and the Quasi-Criminal Law and the Law of Tort 26
III Morals and the Law of Contract 43
IV Morals and the Law of Marriage 61
V Democracy and Morality 86
VI Mill on Liberty in Morals 102
VII Morals and Contemporary Social Reality 124