From Ethics to Law

FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: ETHICS, LAW, CULTURE, AND THE PHYSICAL LIMITS, Lars Rydén, ed., Vol. 9, pp. 27-31, The Baltic University, 2009

6 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2011 Last revised: 30 Sep 2015

See all articles by Wibren van der Burg

Wibren van der Burg

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: June 15, 2011

Abstract

This paper was written for a course on sustainable development of the Baltic University. The central theme is the identification of a number of factors that should be taken into account when a we are considering to enforce a morality (e.g., a morality of sustainability) with the use of legal instruments.

In order to remedy the shortcomings of a mere reliance on voluntary contributions by morally motivated citizens, law can certainly help to create a sustainable society. At least four (partly overlapping) clusters of factors can be discerned that determine the supporting function of law: information factors, financial and practical factors, coordination factors and moral factors.

However, law is certainly not always an effective and justified instrument of public policy. Some issues that have to be considered before implementing moral values through legislation are: the need for legal intervention, the availability of alternatives, the fields of law, the integrity, role and characteristics of law, the effects of the law and the normative limits of the law.

Keywords: morality, ethics, law, legislation, legal enforcement of morals

Suggested Citation

van der Burg, Wibren, From Ethics to Law (June 15, 2011). FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: ETHICS, LAW, CULTURE, AND THE PHYSICAL LIMITS, Lars Rydén, ed., Vol. 9, pp. 27-31, The Baltic University, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1865198

Wibren Van der Burg (Contact Author)

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Section Sociology, Theory and Methodology
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.wibrenvanderburg.nl

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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