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Harts concept of morality

  • Wolfenden Report 1957 recommended changes in the law; some of the recommendations became the basis of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, decriminalizing certain homosexual practices. This paved the way for the problem of morality acute form.
  • Lord Devlin opposed these findings of report and stated that law needs to control the "private immorality" and the intervention of the law is necessary.
  • Opposing this view of Lord Devlin, Hart held that law is an instrument of social control that does not mean that the function of the law is to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour. The principle of fairness and formal justice are significant.
  • There is no harm through homosexual practices unlike murder or theft
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