Should You Respect The Law Even When The Law Is Faulty?

By Larry Hollis / March 19, 2015

This question has made a lot of controversies recently in Australia, where the first female secretary of the ACTU was confronted with this moral dilemma on live news.

Controversy In Australia!

When the interviewer asked Sally McManus, whether she believed in the rule of law, she confirmed that she did. However, she also stated that there are some faulty laws. It created a lot of controversies, as she went on to explain that she believed in the rule of law when the law was fair. However, she added, that she did not see a problem of breaking the law were the law to be unjust.

The statements created a lot of controversies, and many criticisms were expressed because of this statement. Many labeled McManus unjustly as someone who is arrogant, foolish and at best naïve. The opposition and the conservative government also use this to portray CFMEU as lawless. A lot of heated arguments were started mostly by the political opponents who found this opportunity to be just what they needed to beat McManus. The actual meaning of her statements, have gone a little bit wrong but could McManus be right?

Do We Sometimes Have To Break The Law?

There are many instances when people are forced to break the law, especially the unjust laws. It is perhaps even more true for women. The current NSW and Queensland laws make it a criminal offense even to seek an abortion. In fact, not so long ago a Queenslander was charged with procuring her abortion in 2010. Among other unjust laws that were often broken by women are those that required them to express their marital status in their work positions, or when they were forced to find a meal guarantor by banks. Laws were unjust towards women, and women’s liberationists are very well aware of it.

In that respect, it can be said that women are even forced to break these unjust laws such as the one that bans contraception and rights of women to access information about ways in which they can limit childbearing. Laws like this make it impossible for people to adhere to them.

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Larry Hollis

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