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Laws And Code Of Conduct

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Laws and code of conduct are more and more used in our society. They must fix rules not to be exceeded by citizens or by the employees of a company. However, why do we need laws and code of conduct? Is there a difference between the two? Are the laws sufficient? How to fix good codes of conduct.

First, we will define terms to understand them. Then, we will see the sanctions and we will highlight the differences and similarities. Finally, to have a more concrete approach, we will see an example of code of conduct.



Law in politics and jurisprudence is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, provide punishments for those who do not follow the established rules of conduct.

Law is the formal regime that orders human activities and relations through systematic application of the force of a governing body and the society it rules over.

Laws may require or proscribe given actions, as well as empower citizens to engage in certain activities, such as entering into contracts and drafting wills. Laws may also simply mandate what procedures are to be followed in a given context; for example, the U.S. Constitution mandates how Congress, along with the President, may create laws. A more specific example might be the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a regulatory body, mandates how public companies must go about making periodic disclosures to investors.

In most countries only professionals trained in the law can effectively understand and explain legal principles, draft relevant documents, and guide parties through legal disputes, whether with another private party (civil law) or with the government (often involving criminal law).

Concerning the legal code, it is a moral code enforced by the law of a state. It implies an ethical code of court procedures and evidence rules that apply to jurists. In its most general form a legal code is a compact restatement of the law that is designed to be clear, understantable by the lay person (one without a legal education). Legal codes can be of a general private law nature, other may cover specific areas of laws such as in the area of criminal law or certain kinds of statutory types of laws, for example traffic code.


Code of conduct or ethical codes are specialized and specific codes of ethics. Such codes exist in most professions to guide interactions between specialists with advanced knowledge, for example doctors, lawyers, engineers, stonemasons, and the general public. Companies more and more often integrate these codes of conduct in order to encourage and discourage certain types of behaviour.

The code of conduct is a set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group and it does not necessary have to refer to the law.

A code of conduct, refers to a list of labour standards. Those who sign the codes pledge to adhere to these standards in their workplaces.The main goals of the code of conduct are:

Ð'* to define accepted/acceptable behaviours

Ð'* to promote high standards of practice

Ð'* to provide a benchmark for members to use for self evaluation

Ð'* to establish a framework for professional behaviour and responsibilities

Ð'* not to reveal vital data

Ð'* to use computers in a proper way

Ð'* to treat colleagues and clients respectfully

"The need for special ethical principles in a scientific society is the same as the need for ethical principles in society as a whole. They are mutually beneficial. They help make our relationships mutually pleasant and productive. A professional society is a voluntary, cooperative organization, and those who must conform to its rules are also those who benefit from the conformity of others. Each has a stake in maintaining general compliance."

(Stuart Altmann, Chair, Ethics Committee, Animal Behavior Society)


To be enforced, laws and code of conduct have to sanction every violations. But even if companies and government reach to sanction every violations (what appears difficult), there will be always some persons who exceed the rules.

But, the sanction is a good method to limit these violations and to keep a good atmophere in the society or the company. It allows the society to work correctly.


There are a lot of sanctions concerning the violation of the civil and the common law. But when you don't respect law, you are not always sanctionned. There must be some proofs and a trial or a complaint against you.

The sanctions when you violate the law are:

Ð'* Loss of a right

Ð'* Amends

Ð'* Imprisonment

Ð'* Work of general interest

Ð'* Festitution

Ð'* Prohibition to exert


Concerning the sanctions of a code of conduct's violation, these one depend on the code of conduct of each group. However, the sanctions are always the same and they are quite similar to the laws'sanctions. They are maybye a little bit less severe.

The sanctions when you violate codes of conduct are:

Ð'* Expulsion

Ð'* Suspension

Ð'* Amends

Ð'* Restitution

3.Differences and similarities

First, we will develop the differences and the similarities and then we will recapitulate all information in a table.



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