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This book deals with conscientious law-breaking - those instances in which individuals believe that they have sound moral reasons for breaking a particular law. This study is a comprehensive philosophical and legal analysis of the grey area in which the foundations of law and morality clash.
It views these oblique circumstances from two perspectives: that of the person who faces a possible conflict between the claims of morality and law and must choose whether or not to obey the penal code; and that of the people who make and uphold laws and must decide whether to treat someone with a moral claim to disobey differently from ordinary lawbreakers.