The Purpose of Law


Law is a system of rules that governments and societies impose on their citizens to regulate their behavior. It can be applied to many different areas of life, including crime, business, relationships, property, and finance.

The purpose of law in a society is to protect people from harm and promote social justice. Law is also used to help people live and work in peace and harmony with each other.

There are several different types of laws that people can follow, ranging from strict rules like the law against stealing to more relaxed policies. Some of these laws are set up by the government and other by private businesses, and all of them serve a particular purpose in a society.

In a nation, the law can serve to (1) keep the peace, (2) maintain the status quo, (3) preserve individual rights, (4) protect minorities against majorities, (5) promote social justice, and (6) provide for orderly social change.

Some legal systems do a better job of serving these purposes than others. In a democracy, for example, it is more important that people feel free to speak their minds than that they obey arbitrary laws.

A legal right is a reason that is given priority over other reasons that may be considered when making decisions about whether or not to ph (Dworkin 1977: 190-192). This does not mean that rights are absolute, because they can be beaten by even more weighty reasons such as considerations of policy, utility, and public interest.

Moreover, rights can be preemptory–that is, they can block considering or acting on certain other reasons pertaining as to whether or not to ph.

For instance, in the law of contracts and property rights, rights can be used as a basis for obligations to make contractual commitments or to secure one’s ownership of physical possessions.

In the law of torts, rights can be used to prevent people from causing others harm or to recover for those who have suffered harm due to someone else’s actions.

These rights can be enforced through self-help, policing, or a court order. But they sometimes cannot be enforced, are not favored, or are too expensive, impractical, inequitable, or inefficient.

They can also be accompanied by secondary rights to pursue remedial remedies in the event of a violation of a primary right, such as restitution for unjust gains or compensation for proximate losses.

Some of these rights are based on natural law principles, eschewing considerations of policy or utility in favor of principles that are not dependent upon enforcement, social convention, or recognition.

For example, the law of human rights is based on the idea that all individuals have a fundamental right to freedom from discrimination and violence against them. These rights are not always given equal footing and are often in conflict with other rights, such as those rooted in the philosophy of justice.