Criminal Law and Philosophy

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 473–494 | Cite as

Should Law Improve Morality?

  • Leslie GreenEmail author
Original Paper


Lawyers and philosophers have long debated whether law should enforce social morality. This paper explores whether law should improve social morality. It explains how this might be possible, and what sort of obstacles, factual and moral, there are to doing so. It concludes with an example: our law should attempt to improve our social morality of sexual conduct.


Social morality Consent Rape HLA Hart Patrick Devlin Paul Robinson 



For comments I thank Michelle Dempsey, Antony Duff, Massimo Renzo, and especially Donald Dripps, whose question provoked me to write this paper.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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