Whistle blowers tend to claim that despite the fact that maybe their actions are legally uestionable – the had to do the act because it is legitimate. Its legit to inform people about clandestine activities done in their name and against them..
When a law is passed, there are certain Legal criteria it has to follow for being upheld “legal”. For example, a law has to follow a constitution – be it made of tradition and constitutional laws, or some document called constitution. If a person/entity fancies challenging a law, more often than not, they have to challenge the Legality – from a legal perspective – of a given legislation.
Even when we talk about human rights, challenges to anti-human-rights laws have to come from a legal perspective. ie – x law is illegal because it run contrary to a human rights document signed by the country..
The question of legitimacy is being linked to laws and legistlation via a process that goes:
If the entity that passed the law, and the process of passing it, was/is legit – then the law is cool, legitimacy speaking.
eg – a parliament was elected, the election was legit, theparliament is therefore legit. The new law went through the legal processes by the legitimate parliament to become a law – therefore it is legit.
Courts *might* consider the question of legitimacy, however these are always via a legal based process. For example, a person might have stolen some food, got caught and brought to court. If they showed that they had no other choice but to get that food illegally – else they could die – perhaps the court might say “well, it was naughty but legit act under circumstances – don’t do it again!!”
However, the process of getting such a ruling will be via criminal processes that are harsh and disreputable. Hence might in and of themselves act as a sort of deterrent from acting legitimately but illegally..
How might it would be like to have a legitimacy question law.. Say any law/legislation could be challenged/questioned as to its social, cultural, artistic, biological, etc. – legitimacy. In a sense, offering people the opportunity to critique laws without having to be bigs in power, no?
I guess this could contribute towards a sort of fogginess regarding whether X is a law or not.. However, it might not be the case.. Say there is a law that claims its illegal to kill. (am taking an obvious one to make the illustration probably clearer..) Now say a person didn’t go to the legit-questioning process, but got caught after murdering someone. Only then, they said that they murdered indeed – however the legislation is illegitimate! What I think might follow is a process of questioning the legitimacy. If through that process – which might be a good question to ask How it might operate – it came to Be that indeed for that particular society killing can not be illegal because it is legitimate – then the murderer might go free and the law could go back to the parliament with a note – make it legitimate.
Again.. It might be worth mentioning here that in some cases, killing another person, while being illegal, is at times seen as legit.. eg extreme provocation, etc.. However, the killer has to go through some very harsh times and treated like a criminal before he/she are cleared legally. More over, the actual legislation seldom reflects the question of its illegitimate elements.. Or illegitimate whole..