What is the difference between Law and Morality?

This article describes 12 differences between Law and Morality.


  1. Law demands an absolute subjection to its rules and commands.
  2. Law has enforcing authority derived from state.
  3. It is heteronymous (being imposed upon men upon the outer life of men).
  4. Law regulates men’s relations with others and with society.
  5. A promissory note is in force for three years. It is the debtor’s duty to repay the loan. It is the legal duty. The creditor can enforce a legal action against the debtor within three years from the date of execution of promissory note before the court of law.
  6. The legal duty involves a corresponding right.
  7. The state provides the organized machinery for the enforcement of law.
  8. Legal disputes admit in principle of alteration by legislation.
  9. Legal disputes can only be settled by an appropriate court of law.
  10. Law is narrower than morality. It extends to a great number of such acts.
  11. The law applies to all the citizens whether they want or not.
  12. Law cannot be changed into morals.
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  1. Morality demands that men should act from a sense of ethical duty.
  2. Morality has no such enforcing authority from state.
  3. It is autonomous (coming from the inner life of men).
  4. It governs the inner life of men.
  5. If the promissory note is time-barred, then the legal duty of the debtor turns into moral duty. Of course, moral duty is not enforceable before the court of law.
  6. It is also accompanied by a corresponding right. But right is not enforceable before the court of law.
  7. There is no such organization for the enforcement for morals.
  8. Moral rules do not admit even in principle admit of change by legislation.
  9. Moral disputes can be solved by the mediation of caste elders, village elders, etc.
  10. Morality applies to every human act.
  11. The morality also applies to all persons. But it depends from person to person, from religion to religion, society to society. It is his pleasure to follow or not.
  12. But morals sometimes can be converted into law. Example: donation to charity institution is a moral principle. The income-tax recognized and exempts certain percentage of income-tax towards donation from the total income.
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