What is the difference between a legal issue and an ethical issue?

What is the difference between a legal issue and an ethical issue?

Please answer the following questions:

1. What’s the difference between a legal issue and an ethical


2. How do you determine which it is?

3. Using a Web browser go to www.eff.org. What are the

current top concerns of this Organization?

Many issues today are questioned to establish whether they are ethical or legal. The two

concepts are related in that ethics is concerned with the rightness or wrongness of actions while

some laws are derived from ethics. Ethical issues come from ethics. Ethics are the society’s

expectations of how the people should behave (Duquenoy, Jones & Blundell, 2008). The creation

of laws is guided by ethics. Laws are created based on the ethics of the society. These laws are

then enforced by authorities to guide people in their relationships with each other. Legal issues

are those that deal with the workings of the law while ethical issues relate to morals and

principles (Pfleeger & Pfleeger, 2003).

Legal and ethical issues are often mentioned together. Although the two are related, they

have some differences. Laws are created by the legislature, judiciary and public officials to

ensure the protection of the citizens. Ethics are not created by any authority but emanate from the

desire of people to uphold their self respect. Legal and ethical issues differ as some ethical

actions may be illegal while others may be unethical but legal (Duquenoy, Jones & Blundell,


Another difference between legal and ethical issues is in their application. Ethics are not

mandatory but a personal choice to act in a certain way based on people’s beliefs of what is right

and wrong. In contrast, legal actions are expected to be for all the members of the society

depending on the laws and regulations governing them.



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