The outrage of Labour and Liberal politicians that followed was predictable. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said he believes in changing bad laws, not breaking them. Labour Minister Michaelia Cash said the comments showed McManus was “a law in itself.” You probably follow the law most of the time. You pay your taxes, don`t bother people, and follow most traffic rules. But is there ever a time when it is acceptable to break the law? This is an important question for Christians, to which the Bible clearly answers. It seems to me that we can begin by rejecting an extreme position. It is the view that disobedience to the law cannot be justified under any circumstances. Taking this position means saying one of two things: either any law that exists is a just law, or greater injustice is always committed by breaking the law. The first statement is simply false.
The second is very doubtful. If this is true, then the signatories of the Declaration of Independence and the Germans who refused to carry out Hitler`s orders committed injustices. The reasons why you should never break the law are quite simple; If you break a law, you are outside the safe zone. If you have stayed in the safe zone long enough, all actions are divided into two simple categories; Good and evil, black or white, light or darkness, good or evil. If you have done something wrong, there must be a fine or compensation for it. In short, if someone has the right to break the law, it cannot be a legal right under the law. It must be a moral right that is contrary to law. And this moral right is not an unlimited right to ignore any law considered unjust.
It is a right which, it seems to me, has significant restrictions. Sometimes laws seem to protect the rich and the rich at the expense of the poor and disadvantaged. Sometimes laws seem unfair, so is it true that sometimes a good person has to break the law to get the right thing? Can it be morally right to break the law? Or is ethics the same as the law? This, in fact, may be the most important function of those who practice civil disobedience. They remind us that the man who obeys the law is just as obliged to examine the morality of his actions and the rationality of his society as the man who breaks the law. The appearance of civil disobedience can never be a happy phenomenon; If it is justified, something is wrong in the society in which it takes place. But there is another side to the story. It would be a mistake to conclude from what has been said that civil disobedience is justified, provided that it is only disobedience in the name of higher principles. A strong moral conviction is not all it takes to put the violation of the law at the service of society. One of the reasons for this is that this law and perhaps others are not being enforced. People can break minor laws without consequences, so they start to think it`s okay to do so.
Another reason is that people are becoming more and more car-free. They begin to think that laws protecting others don`t matter if they don`t affect them. The combination of these two things leads to more people breaking smaller laws. Which is wrong in the eyes of some people, because breaking minor laws only leads to more chaos in the future – because if people can break small laws without consequences, breaking important laws, such as big thefts, is certainly . Following comments by union leader Sally McManus that it is acceptable to break “unfair” laws, Dr Kevin Walton of Sydney Law School examines what Australians` real duty to the law is. There`s a good reason why you should avoid breaking the law. A criminal record can damage your personal and professional reputation for a lifetime. BUT who should make these tough decisions? Who can say that one man`s moral principles are just and another`s are wrong? Here we come to the special function that civil disobedience fulfills in a society. The man who breaks the law on the grounds that the law is immoral asks the rest of us to trust him or those he trusts against the established conventions and authorities of our society. Sally McManus, the newly elected secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), caused a stir on Wednesday when she said in a television interview that she saw no problem breaking the law if the law was unfair. If absolutely necessary, and if the consequences have been properly weighed, then it is right to break the law to eliminate race-based inequalities.