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Day 57 – Q 5.Differentiate between the terms ‘legality’ and ‘legitimacy’ of a decision with the help of suitable examples.

5. Differentiate between the terms ‘legality’ and ‘legitimacy’ of a decision with the help of suitable examples. 

उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से किसी निर्णय की ‘वैधता’ और ‘उचितता’ के बीच अंतर करें।


Legality is the fact that something is allowed by the law. Legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice-that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another


                            Legality                    Legitimacy
-Legality refers to what fits within the law and is compliant with a legal framework.

-“Legality” is a question of action – whether or not something that you’re doing is a violation of either statutory or common law.

-Legal means that it is within the law.

-Example: Same sex marriage is legal in Australia.

-Example: British rule in India was legal, but it lacked legitimacy among the natives.

-Legitimacy involves following a correct, fair, genuine, moral and ethical path. Legitimacy is symbolized by what is achieved with justice, what is deserved, what is inherited.

-“Legitimacy” is a question of origin or support for an action – whether or not an authority figure has “legitimately” taken their role.

-Legitimate means that it can be justified with logic.

-Example: Same sex marriage is not legal in some places, but some people think that they have a legitimate claim for it to become legal.

-Example: Khap panchayaths and enforcement are not legal but lacks legitimacy. 

There are things that are legal but not legitimate and vice versa: 

  • While abortion is legal in countries it is not legitimate as it amounts to taking a life. 
  • While prostitution is legal it is not legitimate considering the moral grounds of selling one’s body for money.
  • While euthanasia may seem to be legitimate for ending the suffering of a person, it is not legal in many nations.


The legality and legitimacy based administration has gained importance because any violation of law by the administration can be punished by Judiciary and at the same time an administration will find it hard to survive if it is illegitimate.

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