Quick Answer: What Should Citizens Do If They Believe A Law Is Unjust?

Did Thomas Jefferson say if a law is unjust?

“If a law is unjust a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so” – Thomas Jefferson..

Why is it bad to break the law?

It can be morally right to break an immoral law, although of course one must accept the consequences of breaking the law. … A person must break the law not because it is convenient to do so, but because they sincerely believe the law is unjust. Finally, they must be willing to take the consequences of breaking the law.

Is civil disobedience a felony?

Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the action, the conduct involved in nonviolent civil disobedience could be considered a violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony. … For most acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, local—not federal—law enforcement will be involved.

What is an unjust law?

An unjust law is a code that is out of Harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.” … “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

What is considered bad law?

Bad law, or a bad law, or bad laws may refer to: A law that is oppressive. A law that causes injustice. … A proposition of law that is erroneous; an attempted statement of the law that is inaccurate; non-law.

What is it called when you non violently refuse to obey a law that you feel is unjust?

Gandhi adopted the term “civil disobedience” to describe his strategy of non-violently refusing to cooperate with injustice, but he preferred the Sanskrit word satyagraha (devotion to truth).

What is an example of an unjust law?

There are many unjust laws around the world, the most obvious being those that discriminate between the rights given to different groups. In the United States, the most egregious examples tend to be on a state rather than on a federal level. Examples include laws denying equal treatment to homosexuals.

What laws are broken the most?

The 5 Most Frequently Broken LawsUnderage Drinking. According to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), about 26% of the under-21 crowd uses alcohol at least once a month. … Littering. Littering is a crime throughout the entire United States, and the fines involved can be quite large. … Smoking Marijuana. … Jaywalking. … Pirating music.

Is it ever okay to break the law to follow your own convictions?

Personal convictions are indeed a justification to break the law, but not in the eyes of the lawgivers or the law enforcers. … The laws will always be, to some degree, in conflict with personal desires or convictions, or with those of most specific interest groups or ideologies.

Do you have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws?

King says that we have a moral responsibility to obey just laws, and a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. … One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust.

What’s the difference between civil disobedience and protest?

Civil resistance and civil disobedience are both forms of popular protest meant to demonstrate the people’s opposition to a government’s policies, actions, or the government itself. … Civil disobedience, on the other hand, is an act of intentionally breaking a law or refusing to cooperate with the government.

What is the meaning of unjust?

1 : characterized by injustice : unfair. 2 archaic : dishonest, faithless.

Who said an unjust law is no law?

Lex iniusta non est lex (English: An unjust law is no law at all), is a standard legal maxim. Originating with St. Augustine, the motto was used by St. Thomas Aquinas and quoted by Martin Luther King Jr.

Is it right to break an unjust law?

In short, if anybody ever has a right to break the law, this cannot be a legal right under the law. It has to be a moral right against the law. And this moral right is not an unlimited right to disobey any law which one regards as unjust.

Can you break the law to save a life?

“What laws are you allowed to break in order to save your or somebody else’s life (excluding self-defense related laws)?” … Briefly, you can break any law if doing so prevents more human death and injury than following the law would have.

What is the effect of breaking laws?

When individuals violate the law, they face prison, fines, injunctions, damages, and any number of other unpleasant consequences. But although law-breaking is ordinarily fraught with risk, it is not clear that this generalization applies to public officials.