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Role and Functions of Law

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Essay title: Role and Functions of Law

Role and Functions of Law

The law is a delicate yet malleable set of rules and principles that are formed to suite the needs of those deciding its purpose. The role of law for business and society is to provide set rules and procedures that fall within general functions which reflect the position of the people. In various types of governments the law is adjusted to suite the needs of the dictator, its citizens or its elected body as seen fit. In a republic, such as the United States of America, the laws are formed by elected leaders to suite the needs and concerns of the citizens (Republic, 2005). These laws are adjusted, changed and updated as needed in order to match the position of the voting majority.

The Role of Law

The role of law in a society according to Michael Doherty is to assert the moral rules that exist independently of reason (Doherty, 2001). By this assertion the laws should adjust and change as society changes. The people of a society should have the ability and obligation to change the laws as needed and should not be controlled by the law. The law should reflect a balance of the American jurisprudence.

The Functions of Law

The functions of law are broad and general in order encompass the many specific rules and legal regulations. In short the functions of the law are to promote social cohesion and to provide for social progress (Functions of Law, 2005). The most notable of these functions are; peacekeeping, government checks and balances, contract law, promotion of economic growth, social justice, and environmental protection (Barnes, Bowers, Langvardt, & Mallor, 2003).

Each society has in some form a peacekeeping function of the law. This function includes both civil and criminal aspects of a legal system. Civil law resolves disputes between private parties where as criminal law prosecutes for the committing of a crime. The peacekeeping function serves to protect the citizens from those that may cause harm as well as resolves conflict between law abiding citizens.

The constitution of the United States of America covers the function of setting up a government structure and restricting the government from using certain powers. In the Federalist, James Madison observed the need for a constitution to, “…enable the government to control the governed: and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (Cooray, 2005) The installation of a system for checks and balances enables the people to not fear their government and diffuses the power of each branch. This diffusion restricts the power of any branch over any individual.

The rules of contract law fulfill the facilitating planning and the realization of reasonable expectation function of law. This function of law interoperates and enforces agreements between parties which have an expected outcome or promise. This function of law is necessary for modern societies to operate. Business transactions rely on contracts as a way to issue confidence that said request can and will be executed (Barnes et. al., 2003).

The capitalist market place needs to have certain regulations in place to promote fair economic growth. The economic growth does not need to be equal only fair. The most familiar regulations for the capitalist market place are the anti-trust laws which protect against monopolies and accompanying business practices (Barnes et. al., 2003). The anti-trust laws allow for the promotion of a fair market and the protection of small companies against large corporate dominance. The rise in corporate injustices has lead to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 which holds executives accountable for the practices of the companies they lead.

Government intervention has been met with differing

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