The Concept of Law
Law is a system of rules that governs the conduct of people in a society and is enforced by a controlling authority through penalties. A variety of laws exist, ranging from those that regulate health and safety to the laws that define property rights. Laws can be made in many ways, including legislation, judicial decisions, and custom. There are also different kinds of legal systems, such as the common law and the civil law, that determine how the laws are interpreted.
The purpose of law is to promote a just and ordered society, protect human rights and liberties, and encourage the development of individual abilities. In addition, law provides a sense of security for citizens. However, there are some criticisms of the concept of law and its implementation. Critics suggest that the power of law is too concentrated in the hands of a few, and this can lead to corruption. Others have argued that the purpose of law is to control the population, which can lead to violations of basic human rights.
Defining the concept of law is a difficult task. Some philosophers believe that there is a universal definition that is shared by all legal practitioners, but this view has been disputed by others. In any event, it seems clear that law is a complex phenomenon that cannot be reduced to a single social fact. It is also controversial whether there is a set of characteristics that all laws must possess to be considered legal.
One of the most influential theories on the nature of law was proposed by Hans Kelsen. He formulated the ‘pure theory of law’, which states that the function of law is to provide rules that individuals must abide by. He claims that this makes the law a ‘normative science’.
Another theory on the nature of law was proposed by Roscoe Pound. He believed that the function of law is to serve its own purposes and that it has a coercive element. He asserted that the underlying reasons for people’s actions are not always obvious.
In the modern world, laws are often created by courts, which are independent of the legislature. Courts are usually composed of judges and other experts, who examine the evidence presented by both sides in a trial before making their decision. If the judges do not agree on the outcome, they can refer the case to an en banc panel of 11 judges, which will decide the final verdict. This process is called a rehearing. This is a rare procedure, but it allows the judges to consider the whole case more carefully than if they had to make a decision based only on the arguments presented to them by the parties in the trial. Similarly, some cases are appealed to the Supreme Court for review of their decision. However, this is less common than it was in the past.