Posted by / Wednesday 16 March 2016 / No comments

The reasons why some citizens disobey the laws of the state

Some citizens choose not to obey the laws of the land. They give several reasons for taking that line of action.

Individual Conscience
Sometimes, a particular law may conflict with an individual’s conscience. This conflict may be on the grounds of religion, morality or ideology. For these reasons, they choose not to obey the law. For example, the deceased former World Heavyweight Champion of the world, Mohammad Ali refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army on grounds of religion.

Sometimes, governments in power may be deemed to be illegitimate. They may have assumed power through the barrel of the gun or their tenure of office may have elapsed but still, want to remain in power illegally. For these reasons, the citizens may decide to disobey the laws of the state.

Breakdown of Law and Order
Where there is a general breakdown of law and order, some people may choose to disobey the law of the state. In a situation of an outbreak of civil war or any armed conflict, law, and order can breakdown. Under such a situation, people do not obey the law.

Conflict with Natural Justice
In case the law conflicts with natural justice, some citizens may disobey the law. For example, if a law is passed and the law seeks to force people to sell at a certain fixed price without recourse to the cost price, that law may be disobeyed.

Nature of the Law
Some people disobey the laws of the state if, for example, the person is convinced that the law violates the fundamental human rights of the individual. Under the apartheid regime of the Republic of South Africa, at the risk of imprisonment, some of the citizens, including the deceased Nelson Mandela disobeyed some of the apartheid laws.

 1. a. Define a state.
    b. Explain five reasons why people disobey the laws of the state.
2. a. Who is a citizen?
    b. What five reasons do citizens give for disobeying the laws of the state?

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