The Concept of Law


Law is a general term used to describe the rules and principles that regulate human behaviour. It can also be referred to as the legal system and the profession that deals with it. The concept of law varies from place to place and society to society as it is not static and continues to grow and expand.

Law consists of the body of rules that governs an organized political society. It has four principal functions: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberty and rights. A society may choose to have different laws for its citizens based on its culture and religion, e.g. a Muslim can have four wives but a Hindu can only have one wife at a time.

The origin of law is varied, from the ancient Roman civil code to the earliest judicial precedents of the medieval English courts. A lawyer’s job is to interpret and apply the law to a given situation. Judges and juries use case law to determine how a statute or constitutional provision applies to the facts of a particular case on trial.

Law is a dynamic concept and an instrument of bringing about desired social change in the society. The ruling class exploits the working class for their own benefit and as long as the exploitation is not confronted the status quo will continue. Karl Marx advocated that the only way to achieve this is through revolution which dethrones the existing ruling class and enthrones the working class.

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