Why Do We Need Laws: Preserving Order and Justice in Society

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Concept of Laws: Origins and Definitions
  • The Purpose of Laws: Why Do We Need Laws
  • Laws as Tools for Conflict Resolution and Justice
  • The Role of Laws in Governance and Administration
  • Conclusion
  • References


Laws in society serve the general purpose of ensuring that society is orderly and people live in harmony. List and explain five specific functions of laws. The study of civic education involves discussing in detail the phenomenon of a country and its people. This means that legally recognized inhabitants of a country, need to be aware of what establishes it, how it works and how it relates to them as its citizens and the community. To benefit from such knowledge, one should have basic knowledge concerning law. It is indisputably so, because a country is an organization is run by rules. A country, in this vain, is different from the community, and other organizations because it possesses excessive authority, which manifests in the form of law. Consequently, each country, is recognized by a set of laws it keeps because this is what makes it possible for one to point out the difference between bad and good governance. Considering that the function of the state, is not just restricted to carrying out the law, except to enforce it in a morally right and fair way. This assignment will explain five specific functions of law and will answer the question of why do we need laws.

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The Concept of Laws: Origins and Definitions

The term law is used in a number of faculties, due to its distinct uses by people belonging to different schools, it is not easy to describe. It originates from the old customary practices, which means to put down, to position, to instruct, otherwise to fix something in an even way. Law is consequently, something optimum or of command, put and placed upon. Keeping all this in mind, as pointed out from a set of principles, it is defined as the system of regulations which a specific country or community recognizes as rules in the interactions of its members and which it may enforce by imposing punishment for breaking it, Webster’s Law Dictionary, (2010). For example,’ do not drink and drive’ is a law. The most important idea in law is that of control otherwise power. In a democratic community, law is a procedure with the sum total of social capacities regularly acknowledged by a country in carrying out justice. Political and economic theories of Karl Max (1818-83), consider law, as an action of society’s principal feelings and requirements emerging from a given material means of producing something. Experts in history describe it, as penalties for breaking the law in set up habits and customs of the people. On the other hand, the study of social problems observes that law serves, the needs and interests of the people it offers services to.

The Purpose of Laws: Why Do We Need Laws

Law fulfils many purposes and functions in society. Five main purposes and functions are: resolve conflicts, promote citizens’ welfare, control crime, limit government and protect rights.

Ever since the fall of human civilization, the human race has had some sort of regulations that it has used to conduct itself in society. Laws put the standard in which to live in, every time people want to be part of society. Laws set up rules and regulations for society, so that people could have freedom, just behavior and treatment. Without the law, our society would be in a state of complete disorder and confusion, bad mannered, confused with problematic situations and disorder would greatly prevail. The function of law in society is that it brings into existence acceptable behaviors. As active members of society, we are supposed to observe rules and laws of the country. Law is created to keep people from crime and deliver justice. The aim of law is not to capitalize on people other than have them stay away from crime. When someone breaks the law, he or she must take on the penalty inflicted depending on the seriousness of the offence. Consequently, when someone thinks concerning breaking the law, law makers expect and desire he or she will think twice. The law is there to protect people by means of punishment because it holds them answerable for their acts. For that reason, if the law makes someone think twice about what they are doing and discontinue as a matter of fact, from carrying out the crime, then the law has served its objective. Laws bring about order among the people. This is exceptionally significant, because it keeps people from going totally cruel and vicious thereby keeping complete disorder from occurring. Truth be told, laws are without doubt a necessity in today’s society, they make people polite and good mannered and for the most part keep our society run smoothly, Purpose of Law in society (2016). Without it being the case, everyone would just do what they desired and total disorder and confusion would take place.

The second function of law is protecting human rights. Citizens have many rights enshrined in every country’s constitution. Dignity is the key word for the debate of human rights. The term ‘human rights’ has taken the place of the phrase’ natural rights’ in general because the rights are habitually fewer in number. Human rights is the idea that, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, UDHR (1948). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, sets out the fundamental basic rights and liberties which are relevant to all men, women and children. Because it is believed that, human rights are essential, countries constitute laws to protect them in their respective constitutions. They set forth every day rights for example, right to life, equality before the law, freedom of expression, right to work, social security and education. These laws state that governing systems cannot remove people’s fundamental rights. They make certain that individuals who take away other people’s rights are treated severely. But how are human rights violated? Human rights violations happen when any country, breaches the declarations of the UDHR Convention. Examples are acts symbolically regarded as crimes against humanity inclusive of torture, deliberate killings of large number of people from a particular ethnic group, rape, forced sterilization, medical examinations and intentional starvation. To protect human rights is to make sure that people be given some degree of decent benevolent treatment. To violate the most fundamental basic rights, on the other hand, is to refuse to give individuals their principle moral entitlements. It is, in a way, to treat them as if are not any human and not warranted of respect and honor, Hubert, (2001).

The third function of law is to limit government. Limited government is a general rule of constitutionalism. One of the fundamental principles of the constitution is to limit the government. Laws supporting the constitution do not accept as legal, the government taking away peoples special rights unless with valid justifications. It states that a government’s power over its citizens has restrictions or boundaries. Governmental rights are stated, kept under control and restricted by law or by the constitution. An individual’s rights and freedoms are preserved against governmental authority even if that authority is applied in the name of a majority of people. Law to limit government does not mean, as it is frequently said, to say, that the general populace should submit to the orders that government issues. On the contrary, it means that laws should serve to promote the principle wellbeing of the people, and should not aim to harm otherwise advantage specific groups or people. Stripped of all its technicalities, this means that government in all its works or moves is restricted by rules settled on and announced in advance. Rules which makes it possible to predict with fair certainty how the government will utilize its coercive power in stated situations and conditions as well as to scheme one’s personal matters on the argument of this information. There are laws forbidding the government from seizing one’s thing or things or using it unless with his or her consent or authorization. In the similar manner, the law forbids, carrying out un warranted searches, tapping telephone conversations, seizing and detaining people without reasonable grounds. All these laws are there to limit the government. The law also disapproves legislative discrimination, otherwise, special immunities or deliberate unfair favoring of one group of people at the expense of another. Except to further the progress of principled manner of governing. The purpose of law is to keep the order of the country in spite of changes in leadership. It helps remind those who might have assumed power that, what is and is not right remains the same despite their advent into the head of the governing party. To limit the government is about what law takes into account as no one, not even the president, has full predominance over the country owing to the existence and practice of law, UK, essays, (2018).

Laws as Tools for Conflict Resolution and Justice

The concept of law is as old as the human race. From domestic interaction to group structures, rules of law have influenced the way people cope with conflict. Rules that influence human interaction are the underlying principles of moral responsible societies. The necessity for law accepts as true that,’ all conflict is unavoidable and perpetual and so must be settled through the application of morally responsible rules, Macfarlane, (1999). Law is unacceptable and lasting in all human conflict. It is believed that the moral standard of accountability and love are the foundation on which the idea of law has emerged. It is also assumed that the concept of law is the tree trunk on which adjudication and facilitation suppositions and practices branch out. If this is true, then the role of law is to nurture and serve as a medium of development of how people and groups of people handle conflict. From its beginning, law has been at work shaping and reshaping the status of society. The intrinsic function of law is to initiate regulations and established ways which compels the power of all parties, answerable for their actions, and forbid by law the gradual increase of autocratic or oligarchic authority. The word autocratic refers to an arrogant and overbearing type of rule, while oligarchic means, a small group of people having control of a country. Law avails a number of ways for peaceful means of solving conflicts between private individuals or groups, or between the two and the government. Conflict has two sides: that which negatively affects society by violent actions between people, and that which positively brings about the advancement of human interactions as well as social relationships. Both need rules to make certain that justice prevails and truth is sought and attained. When conflict of any nature arises, people can take their grievances to the courts, where judges and juries can apply the law as well as resolve the argument. The law is often thought of as being the protector of our rights, and correctly so, MacFarlane, (1999).

In terms of the administration of justice, the law is linked to the way in which judges might preside over cases brought forward for their particular attention. Without the presence of law, there could never be judgement over what is or not right. Consequently, judges would be allowed to settle matter based on frivolous beliefs that may have no underlying principles whatsoever. Law is in existence to further the progression of societies as lack of it would only have whole countries revert back.

The Role of Laws in Governance and Administration

Perhaps governments legal obligation to avail social programs to its citizens, is the most prolonged heated debates of them all. Governments undoubtedly began with the need to protect people from conflict and allow for law and order. Why have conflicts among people occurred all the way through history. A large number of people, both known by many people or ordinary, have attempted to give answers to this question. Possibly, human nature determines selfishness and people unavoidably are disappointed over who gets what thing or things or special benefits or honor. Or perhaps as, Karl Max explains, it is because people are selfish with intense desire for power, wealth and food. Whatever the reasons, governments first evolved as people became aware that their protection was without difficult, if they worked together in groups and if they all had the same opinion. This recognition is the underlying principle of sovereignty, or the right of self-rule of a group, later a country free of external interference. Sovereignty means a self-governing state.

An element of a governments function is to protect its citizens from external attacks. Also a country needs to not only protect its citizens from one another, except it is obliged to make arrangements to prevent outside attacks. In recent years, governments responsibility has extended to the area of production, consumption of goods and services and the supply of money, also called the economy or public service. To ensure basic wellbeing for its citizens, governments provide services such as building roads, fighting fires, providing food, housing, medical care, promote national prosperity and quality of life, creating jobs or other measures to actively stabilize and grow the economy. However, citizens who understand these duties are in the best place to keep their governments to task.

To promote the welfare of citizens means to do what is best for the citizens of the country. Welfare is a type of government support for citizens of a country. It might be provided to people of any income level, but is generally purposed to make certain that the poor meet their basic human rights, such as food, clothing and housing.


Law controls much of what everyone does, day in and day out. It reveals to us what our rights and moral and legal obligations are. It lets us be aware of the consequences of not doing what we are supposed to do. Without it, we do not have a civilized country, we have complete disorder and confusion. Because of law, we can state our rights if we are discriminated against. We all have the right to own property and not have someone arbitrary take it from us, as a result of the existence of law. Our children have a right to education because the law makes it mandatory. We are entitled to express our thoughts and ideas, without the government blocking us because of law. In the absence of law, people would steal from us, harm us, destroy what we own, or do a number of other actions that society has agreed or does not declare satisfactorily adequate or vice versa. There is no justification to believe that, outside law, people would all conduct themselves nicely and reasonably. Having the law, we clearly know what we are answerable to as well as what will become of us, every time we break it. Without law, people would and could conduct themselves in whatever way they wished.


  1. Essays, UK, (2018). Why Do we need Laws In Society? Philosophy essay. Retrieved from https://why-do-we-need-law-in-the-society-philosophy-essay.php?vref=1.
  2. Hubert, D & Weiss, G. (2001). The Responsibility to Protect: Supplementary Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Canada: International Development Research Centre.pp. 144.
  3. Macfarlane, J.(eds.). (1999). Dispute Resolution: Reading & Case Studies. Toronto: Edmond Montgomery Publications Limited.
  4. Merriam-Webster, (2010). Third International Dictionary. Massachusetts: Springfield Inc.
  5. Purpose of Laws in Society, (2016). Retrieved from

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