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Law – is a set of rules that is binding the community. A set of rules that can be enforced and is officially recognized. Law must be capable or reform and change as society’s values and ethics change.
Relationship between customs, rules and laws – Customs and rules govern behavior but the courts do not enforce them on community members. The community may generally see a custom as right but it is not legally enforceable. Rules, however, may punish offenders but rules only apply in certain circumstances and areas.
Laws are legally sanctioned and are enforced by the courts.
Although the community generally accepts all three, rules and customs do not have the same legal sanction as laws. An example of this is smoking in public restaurants. It was a custom for shop owners to provide a smoking and non-smoking section in their restaurants. Once the dangers of smoking became known rules were put in to prevent smoking in restaurants. Laws were then passed in public interest to make sure that smoking was only allowed in outdoor sections of restaurants.
Values – Principals or attitudes which society sees as important. The moral principles and beliefs which reflect society’s judgment about the importance of different things. a personal belief system
Ethics – a set of moral beliefs governing behaviour. Ethics define what we consider to be the right and wrong way to behave.
a code of conduct; moral principles
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