Legal rights are not all right: when morality and the law collide

In early November 2017, media outlets hailed the Paradise Papers as a major scoop: 13.4 million leaked documents revealed the financial details of some of the world’s leading brands, politicians, sports stars, and musicians. But this was to be no repeat of last year’s Panama Papers, in which well-known names appeared relating to criminal acts like “corruption,” “tax evasion,” and “money laundering”; the Paradise Papers failed to reveal a single crime.

So why was it considered news?

The general public’s views of “right” and “wrong” are on this and many other occasions at odds with lawful definitions of “legal” and “illegal.” While the latter express a state’s interests in sanctioning certain exchanges or behaviours (i.e., are an expression of power and an attempt to manufacture a specific type of social order), the former are social beliefs about the legitimacy of certain acts, which may

... read more at: