The Social, Cultural, Moral, Political and Economic Influences

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The Social, Cultural, Moral, Political and Economic Influences

Social Influences

  • Are those moral, intellectual and cultural inclinations that affect the decisions made by law makers.
  • As a society, we publically debate such social issues as immigration, crime and punishment.
  • Lawmakers both influence and are influenced by these issues
  • Societies changing composition, for example, with the growth of the ageing population, can also influence the nature of laws.


Cultural Influences

  • The laws of a nation closely reflect the values of the dominant cultural group in that nation.
  • For example, it is widely accepted in Australia to dress in casual, skin-exposing clothes. Yet, it is unacceptable in other cultures, including the Islamic culture of Saudi Arabia, where to wear such clothing is forbidden.


Moral Influences

  • This refers to the standards of behaviour that are accepted by a society.
  • The law of a country is influenced by the personal moral views of its politicians. A good example is provided by the death penalty, for which there is substantial support in the community, but which is opposed by all major political parties and thus, is outlawed.
  • Despite this, the law usually tries to mirror the moral standards of society
  • Its success in doing so, is evidenced by the reforms to decriminalize homosexual intercourse; a legal response to the growing acceptance of homosexual relationships in Australia.


Political Influences

  • The philosophies and beliefs of a party whilst in government, will greatly influence the laws of a country.
  • Right-wing parties, for example, will tend to enact conservative laws, whereas left-wing parties will tend to be more radical.


Economic Influences

  • People with significant economic power tend to have much greater access to political leaders than others. They are therefore in a better position to influence political decisions and, by extension, the nature of the law.
  • Political factors are often influenced by economic factors. Voters want answers to economic problems: unemployment, interest rates, etc.

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