Theories About the Origin and Purpose of Law
Law is a body of rules, principles and customs enforced by a political authority or by judicial courts. Law also describes the condition of social order and justice created by adherence to such a system. The study of law includes studies in history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Theories about the origin and purpose of law vary widely. However, all of them are subject to criticism and further development. The complexity of the subject and the variety of opinions on the subject make it impossible to develop a theory about law that is entirely satisfactory.
Almost all theorists agree that law has a general aim of securing social justice. In other words, the main function of law is to prevent exploitation of people or property and it does this by ensuring that all those who have rights get them and that those who are guilty of wrongdoing are punished.
This view of law differs from other theories because it takes into account the fact that different people have different ethics and moral values, and this makes their interpretation of laws on a subjective basis difficult. Thus, laws have to be interpreted on a case-by-case basis according to the circumstances of the person involved and this is why legal philosophy differs from country to country and the definition of law has to be adapted to local conditions.
The idealistic view of law sees it as a tool that is used to harmonize conflicting groups in society. It assumes that the existence of conflicting groups is inevitable and that their interactions are beneficial for society as a whole. Law is used as a means of settling conflicts and providing a platform for debate and policy making.
Another important aspect of law is its role in promoting and protecting individual rights. The law guarantees a person’s right to freedom and security, including his or her property and health. It also ensures that the government, police and other public officials act within the limits of their powers and do not infringe upon the rights of citizens.
The main reason for the creation of law was to maintain order. Human behavior needs to be regulated because if it is not, civilizations would fall apart. For example, a society cannot exist if adultery is not considered to be a crime or if one person snatches another’s belongings.
Another goal of law is to prevent crime and a criminal justice system is the best way to do this. The law imposes certain standards of behaviour on all members of a community and punishes anyone who breaks these rules. In addition, the law protects the rights of citizens and protects the environment by limiting the use of harmful substances. Laws also help to solve disputes between individuals or between businesses and the government. The law can provide compensation for damages resulting from car accidents or defamation. Civil law deals with such disputes while criminal law relates to offenses against the state.