Q. Distinguish between laws and rules. Discuss the role of ethics in formulating them (150 words) (10 marks)
Law is a custom or practice of a community that is prescribed and made obligatory by an edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute or a judicial decision recognised or enforced by the controlling authority. Rules are a standard set of instructions made for people, which explain how things are to be done or not to be done. It can be set up for home, hospital, institution, college, office, school etc.
Ethics is the basis of all laws and rules because ethical codes are meant for the welfare of society and laws serve the same purpose. Ethics tells us the concept of right and wrong according to the collective will of society and the same concept is converted into law and rules by the government which represents the will of the people. Ethical rules and laws are readily observed by the people while unethical ones are resisted by society. Hence, laws and rules must have an ethical foundation to become effective and create a better society.
Source : ‘Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for Civil Services Examination’by Dr Awdhesh Singh, available at