Introduction: This discourse duly examined the concept of law in technical perspective. Moreover, it briefly inspected the affinity between the concepts of law and public morality as human regulators in the society.

1, The Concept of Law and Morality
a. The Concept of Law
The definition of law is not free from contention. The concept “law” has been variously defined by assorted schools of jurisprudence, legal jurists and scholars. The Natural theory defines law as right reason in tandem with nature. This school believes that certain values are inherent in every man by virtue of human nature, and these values can be discerned by means of human reason. Moreover, this theory posited that the applicability of these values to all circumstances is free from man-made laws. Marcus Tullius Cicero, an exponential philosopher and jurist of natural school of law explained that “true law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting… It is a sin to try to alter this law nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely… senate and people cannot free us from our natural obligations”{1}.
The Positive school defines law as a command issued by a sovereign to his constituents, and which the latter must obey or suffer sanctions in the advent of non-compliance. John Austin, the propeller of this theory argued against any connection between law and morality. He elucidated that legal rules are valid solely because they are enacted by legitimate authority and opposed the sanctity of both natural and moral laws{2}.
The Sociological theory perceives law as the norms and values of “a people” in a geographical entity. This theory emphases on the relationship between law and ethics in every society. That is, social laws emanated from the norms, values and ethics of a people in a given society. For Karl Max, a notable sociological philosopher, he defined law as an instrument of class struggle between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” In his analysis, law among other social phenomena are institutionalised by the bourgeoise(the ruling class) to solidify and maintain an outright hegemonic structure over the proletrait(the working class){3}.
The Historical jurisprudence was propounded by Frederich Karl Von Savigny, a prominent German lawyer from the concept of “Volksgeist.” According to Savigny, this term simply means the “spirit of the people.” “Each nation has some peculiarities of custom and attitude which cannot be leaned from their written codes or treatises or even wholly from their judicial decisions”{4}.  This connotes that every nation or people possesses a unique trait shaped by their ancestral history. Therefore, a valid law evolves from the history of a people in a given society. The theory opposes rational deduction of law from human nature and codification of laws that devoid of cultural and moral values.
The Realist theory of law stemmed from the prevailing social interest and public policy. This school professes that an impartial judgement and decision can only be reached through the judicial system. In a bid to ensure a free and fair judgement in any dispute, the courts’ decisions are seen as valid laws. “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean the law”{5}.
In tandem with the above postulations, it is preferable to submit that the term “law” is viewed according to disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives of legal scholars and jurists. There has not been any universally acceptable definition of law to end all definitions. In the words of A.O Okunniga, “Nobody including the lawyer has offered, nobody including the law is offering, nobody including the lawyer will ever be able to offer a definition of law to end all definitions”{6}.
b. The Concept of Morality
Etymologically, the term morality was coined from the Latin word, “moralis” which depicts a custom, behaviour or manner. It was firstly employed in a philosophical treatise titled “De facto” (On Fate) written by Marcus Tullis Cicero in 45BC.
Conceptually, “morality is a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct of a particular philosophy, religion or culture”{7}. These moral principles determine the degree of rightness or wrongness of human actions. They also instill the consciousness to discern between what is right or wrong in every man. Every individual, group, nation is placed under different moral disciplines.
2, The Relationship between Law and Morality as Regulators of Human Conduct
In view of the aforementioned postulations, it is evident that both law and morality are efficient regulators of human behaviours though relative in scope. Law regulates human conducts basically by imposing sanctions on whoever disobeys the established principles while a violator of moral principles suffers public disapprobation.
Moreover, morality is relative in nature. What a particular society considers as immoral may be justified in other settings and vice versa. It is due to this relativity that law comes in to play a pivotal role as regulatory mechanism of human conducts. Laws are established to curtail moral conflicts that moral divergence might insinuate. Mostly, legal rules are products of moral principles.
The standard of legislating moral principles is essentially based on predominant moral rules in the society. For instance, the United Kingdom(excluding Northern Ireland) Germany, Colombia France and some other nations have legally recognized abortion, homosexuality and prostitution because they have predominantly liberal populace. Likewise, some Arabian nations criminalized these acts because the upholders of Sharia principles dominated these nations. While a conservative country like Nigeria and some other African nations have criminalized homosexuality and abortion because their populace are against such practices.
In conclusion, the establishment of law as legal backings for moral values has not proffered a lasting clear cut to the evaluation of human actions. There have consistently been a conflict between law and public morality. For instance, in Shaw v. Director of Public Prosecution{8}. The appellant (Shaw) published a booklet entitled ‘The Ladies’ which listed the details of prostitutes, nude photographs and the services they offered.’ Shaw would charge the harlots a fee for inclusion and sell the directory for a fee;’ thus, he was living on the earnings of prostitutes. He was convicted of conspiracy to corrupt public morals, an offence under the obscene publications Act 1959. On appeal, the appeal was dismissed and the conviction was upheld.
Binzak Azeez writes from the faculty of Law O.A.U
References;
1, De Re Publica, De Legibus, trans. Clinton W. Keyes,p.211
2, Austin John(1832). The Province of Jurisprudence Determined. Ed. WE.  Rumble, 1995
3, Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848)
4, Rahmatian, A. Friederich Carl Van Savigny’s Beruf and Voksgeistlehse, J.  legal history
5, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr; “The path of the law,” 10 Harvard Law Review (1897)
6, Okunniga, A.O. Transplants and Mongrels and the Law: The Nigerian Experiment Inaugural lecture series 62: (Ile-Ife: University of Ife Press 1983), p. 2
7, Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “The definition of morality”
8, Shaw v DPP (1962) AC, 220
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