RUNNING HEAD: AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM 1
American Legal System 2
Legal systems, in any country, all have one major role, which is to ensure that the country is in order and the law is being followed. Legal systems are based on laws passed by the government. These laws ensure that the country is in civilized order and lists a set of rules for the people to follow. Ethics are “the well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do…”(Velasquez, 2010) Legal systems also follow these ethical standards. The American legal system promote good ethics and will punish those who do intentionally break these standards and harm others.
The American legal system stems from the original rules written by our founding fathers in the Constitution. The system is divided into two parts, the federal system and the state system. Federal law lists the power of the government to ensure that the laws of the Constitution are being followed. State systems deal with the other powers of the government that are not stated in the Constitution. While the American legal system does promote good ethics, some laws are ethically neutral. Others do not necessarily follow ethical standards. Take, for example, if a certain individual made a promise to his best friend and then broke that promise to backstab his friend. This is wrong by ethical standards, but not wrong by legal standards because there was not a legal contract in place between the two.
Another example of how our legal system is based on ethical standards is how we punish those who do not follow the law. Individuals who want to behave violently and commit acts of rape, murder, harm will be punished by the law. The natural assumption is that we, as a human society, seek to achieve many common goals such
American Legal System 3
as happiness, success, and prosperity. In order to do this, ethical standards must be followed. Therefore, ethics does not equate to law...