What is the relation between law and moral or ethical rules accepted by a community of people? Do they influence each other? To which extent?

There is a common logical fallacy that the crime statistics reflect in some way the morality of the society. STOP HERE AND THINK TWICE! The crime statistics reflect first to which extent the human behaviour may be considered to be criminal, i.e. these figures mirror the criminalization of certain activities. We can legalize prostitution or the retail sales of alcohol in Sweden and then statistics of crime will look different, not necessarily better. We can change the definition of the crimes; a broader definition will increase the statistics at least in the first period after the amendment. A narrower definition and a harder burden of proof for the prosecution will decrease the statistics, but attention not the criminality. The most fallacious part of the statement is to pass by the fact that an increase in the statistics can often reflect a more effective enforcement. The police and the other authorities have invested lots of public money in a betterment of the enforcement. This has nothing to do with the morality of the people living in that jurisdiction.

Think about the taxation for instance! One can define taxation as a very moral activity, it is after all about sharing and giving to the people in need, but also as an immoral activity because a person is dispossessed by his/he property, property which has been obtained completely in a legal manner. Of course that some crimes appear to be absolutely horrifying and undoubtedly immoral, but you as an outsider, as a second hand listener, you will never know the whole story. Therefore the biblical story is still wise: Don't throw any stones on nobody! You might be less innocent than that person.

Another short reflection about the truth and the search for truth and the idea that the ultimate truth is God! To me this statement is related with the first the biblical advice 'Don't throw stones!'. The socially constructed truth is always relative and it serves some common purposes. Panem et circenses, bread and circus/games, this is what it is served. Now-a-days the circus is more Hollywood constructed than live. The main idea is that you do not witness the truth, we are only told the 'truth' and if the truths being told fit with your frame of values, they are going to be accepted as reality. If they come in conflict with this frame of values, you will reject them and start to search about the 'real' truth and so on. It sounds strange but in order to provide justice and be impartial, you have to forget about your own cultural bias or moral bias and judge as to the law, not as to the morality.

The values of the society can not be alienated from the law, the law comes as a reflection of these values, but in the moment of becoming LAW, it becomes the main point of reference for the judge. The relation between law and moral values is a very complex one indeed.

I would like you to ponder a bit on the ideas of law and moral in society based on relative truths. What is the role of moral for the law maker or for the law enforcer? Do moral have any significance for a judge?