Law Vs Ethics

a) Law

The law is described as the set of rules and regulation, created by the government to govern the whole society. The law is universally accepted, recognized and enforced. It is created with the purpose of maintaining social order, peace, justice in the society and to provide protection to the general public and safeguard their interest. It is made after considering ethical principles and moral values.

The law is made by the judicial system of the country. Every person in the country is bound to follow the law. It clearly defines what a person must or must not do. So, in the case of the breach of law may result in the punishment or penalty or sometimes both.


By ethics, we mean that branch of moral philosophy that guides people about what is good or bad. It is a collection of fundamental concepts and principles of an ideal human character. The principles help us in making decisions regarding, what is right or wrong. It informs us about how to act in a particular situation and make a judgment to make better choices for ourselves.

Ethics are the code of conduct agreed and adopted by the people. It sets a standard of how a person should live and interact with other people.



Comparison between Law and Ethics




The law refers to a systematic body of rules that governs the whole society and the actions of its individual members.


Ethics is a branch of moral philosophy that guides people about the basic human conduct.


What is it?       


Laws are a set of rules and regulations

Ethics are set of guidelines


Governed By   


Law- Government

Ethics- Individual, Legal and Professional norms




Law- Expressed and published in writing.

Ethics- They are abstract.




Violation of law is not permissible which may result in punishment like imprisonment or fine or both.

There is no punishment for violation of ethics.




Law is created with an intent to maintain social order and peace in the society and provide protection to all the citizens.

Ethics are made to help people to decide what is right or wrong and how to act.




Law has a legal binding.

Ethics do not have a binding nature.



  1. b)


Personal Ethics

  • These involve your morals and values.
  • They are instilled generally, during childhood, by your parents, family, and friends.
  • They relate to your deep-rooted principles, and how religiously you follow them determines the kind of person you are.
  • The nature of your personal ethics depend on whether your principles have an optimistic effect on the people surrounding you, i.e., your strict adherence to your principles must not spoil someone else’s life; a negative impact on society due to your principles violates the very reason you are following them.


  1. I will always speak the truth.
    This is something that you would have been taught by your parents and teachers since the time you first began to understand the world. By the time you grow up, this thought would have been ingrained in your system. Following this principle will make you feel satisfied and happy, and in case you face a dilemma wherein you need to compromise on your honesty, the result might make you feel sick and remorseful.
  2. I will respect all those who are elder to me.
    Following this will invariably make you a patient and dutiful human being, yet, you might have to compromise on it if someone is taking advantage of your sincerity and humility.
  3. I will never hurt anyone purposely.
    This will help hone the way you speak and behave with you family and friends. You will think twice before unnecessarily hurting someone with either your words or actions. If you do so, you will not hesitate to apologize thereafter. Following this principle will make you humble, which is an essential quality that we need in our lives.

Professional Ethics

  • These involve a strict code of conduct laid down at the workplace.
  • Your ethics here involve adherence to rules and regulations.
  • Non-compliance to such rules may risk your reputation, as your behavior will immediately be reported as brash and unprofessional.
  • Your personal views and concerns about any topic will not be of much help in a corporate setting, how well you follow the protocol of the company is what will matter here.

Since this is something the organization will lay out, the principles vary from one another. Some generalized examples can be essayed as follows:

  1. Punctuality
    No company will tolerate employees who aren’t punctual―as regards to arriving at work, submitting your work, meeting deadlines, etc. You cannot enter and leave as you wish, you need to comply to the rules. This is one quality that can be included as a personal ethic too, and people who follow this in their personal lives will find it convenient to follow at the workplace too.
  2. Time Management
    Do not whine if you are assigned extra work, time management is crucial for rising up the corporate ladder. Learn the art of managing work in less time, and you will be a shining example for your colleagues. Your capability will be determined by the quality of work, not the quantity. Before calling it a day, plan for the next day. Learn efficient time management techniques.

Points of Difference

Personal Ethics Professional Ethics
Grooming They are developed over a period of time. They can be instilled during your childhood by your parents and people close to you, they can be developed through life-altering experiences, or even meeting certain people in life and exchanging ideas with them. Some values can also be inherited, or can be developed after a spiritual experience. They are also shaped over time, but depend a great deal on the company or organization that you work for. They can be developed as you undergo experiences related to business, education, law, politics, or any other professional setting. They can be developed through corporate deals, contracts, workshops, etc.
Satisfaction They satisfy your personal needs; they only influence your behavior with people you know personally. They define who you are and help you take decisions, and hence, control your attitude towards the people you care about. Whenever you take any decision keeping these values in mind, you invariable think of how it is going to affect you, your behavior, or your family and friends. They satisfy your corporate needs. Your professional career is influenced by these rules, and the more stringently you follow them, the better professional you will be. These values help satisfy the need to feel capable of making fair decisions regarding your position in your workplace.
Results  Following these ethics result in a clear conscience, positive attitude, and a contented spirit. This is because you are following them for yourself and your loved ones. If you fail to follow these principles that you yourself have laid out, you will end up feeling guilty, remorseful, with a sense of failure, and lack self-esteem. These consequences may vary from individual to individual. The results are more predictable, common, and obvious in this scenario. Following these ethics may result in you being honored as a diligent employee and sincere worker. Not following them may result in being blacklisted in the organization, attract legal issues, loss of money and reputation, etc. These are followed more for the sake of your colleagues, bosses, and society.
Reliability They rely only on the individual. They are designed by the person himself, to make his life more orderly and disciplined, and he depends on them to define his life. They rely on the organization. They are formulated and laid down by the organization, and they need to be upheld by whoever works there, irrespective of his designation or salary. The same rules need not be applied outside the workplace, they are confined within the company, and they need to followed with utmost decorum.


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