EVALUATION OF FULLER’S CONCEPT OF LAW AND MORALITY

EVALUATION OF FULLER’S CONCEPT OF LAW AND MORALITY

ABSTRACT

Lon. L Fuller saw law both as a system of rules and as a purposive activity. Besides, Fuller discussed two concepts of morality: the morality of aspiration and the morality of duty. The morality of aspiration is the morality of good life, excellence, and fullest realization of human powers. This morality helps man in fixing his mind on the goals to be achieved. The morality of duty, on the other hand, assists man in setting a goal as to what to do and what not to do to in pursuant of those aspirations. Fuller proposed eight components of an ideal legal system, namely: a law must be general; it must be promulgated; it must not be retroactive; laws must be clear; laws must not be contradictory; laws should not command the impossible; laws should be consistent; and finally there shall be congruence between official action and declared rule. These principles coupled with the two moralities make up with what Fuller called “the inner morality of law” which, in the natural law tradition, argues for a necessary connection between law and morality because law necessarily fulfils certain moral requirements. The general purpose of this study, therefore, is to evaluate Fuller’s concept of law and morality and the relationship between them. Specifically, the study was designed to understand how legal principles, according to Fuller, legitimate an ideal legal system; understand why Fuller found it necessary to distinguish morality of duty from morality of aspiration ; identify, if any, the weakness in Fuller’s theoretical frame work that necessitated the necessary connection between law and morality, and consider the possible implications of Fuller’s concept jof “an ideal legal system” on the 21st century Nigeria.