When most people think of the law, they think of the statutes or codes that have been written by lawmakers. However, there are other sources of law as well – case law and judicial interpretation. In this blog post, we will explore the ethics of these two sources of law.
First, let’s define the concept of ethics. the goodness or badness of their motives and effects.” In other words, ethics involve making decisions that reflect our values.
When it comes to interpreting statutes or codes, there are two main approaches – literal interpretation and intent-based interpretation. Literal interpretation involves looking solely at the text written in the statute or code itself without taking into account how it might have been intended by its author. Intent-based interpretation involves considering not only what is written in the statute or code, but also what the lawmaker had in mind when they wrote it.
The ethics of intent-based interpretation are often questioned. Some argue that, although a law may have been written with good intentions, it should not be taken into account when interpreting it. They argue that we should only consider the literal meaning of the text, as this is the only way to ensure fairness and justice for all citizens. Others argue that by taking into account the intent behind a law – even if it was originally written with good intentions – you can make sure that its true purpose is being served and justice is being applied appropriately.
We must consider our own values when making this decision and recognize the implications of both approaches.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Ethics Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/ethics?s=t .
Law Handbook by South Australia Legal Services Commission Incorporated (2019). Understanding Laws – Literal Interpretation VS Intent-Based Interpretation . Retrieved from https://lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch36