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TheLaw in Legal System
Thelaw is essential to any democracy because it contains a set of rules,which govern a particular society. Each country has a number ofprinciples, which offer guidance on different societal issues. Thelaws can range from criminal, traffic regulations, business, realestate, import & export of goods to civil rights of individuals(Mallesonand Moules 11).The constitution, which is a document that clearly defines differentlegal provisions and their role in social, political, economic, andenvironmental growth, protects all the above stated issues. The lawis preview to change owing to the shift in social and global factors.Hence, all citizens in a particular country should understand variousaspects of the law, and its implication on an individual and socialbasis. In contrast, the legal system consists of a group of courts,which use their mandate to make rulings and judgments with respect tothe written law (Downey98).The legal system is essential in implementing the law according tothe written constitution.
Originof the Law
Itis difficult to identify the exact location, establishments, andcentury in which the law originated. However, historians mention thathuman civilizations cannot be functional without rules on ways todetermine what is wrong and right in the society. The use of lawdates back to biblical days whereby a king, emperor, queen, or rulingfamily was in charge of solving legal disputes. In this case, theking’s decision was absolute and all people in the land weresubject to the ruling (Walston-Dunham3).An analysis of ancient history highlights the varioussocial-cultural, economic, and political factors of powerfulestablishments. The mentioned factors went hand in hand with thelegal system in that, several laws represented the social cultural,political, and economic interests of the society (Downey43).In addition, culture and religion played a significant aspect in theestablishment of the legal system. As such, some religious leadersserved as advisors to the king, commander, or emperor. Notably, suchestablishments did not enjoy the same benefits of democracy as thesocieties to date. However, they showed a sign of democracy owing tothe presence of advisors, experts in society law, philosophers, andreligious counselors. Some of the common establishments in theancient times are the Egyptian empire, the Roman Empire, the GreeceEmpire, Phoenicians, and Babylonians (Roffer76).
Elementsof the Law
Overthe years, preceding societies have adopted laws, which arereflective of the changing dynamics in the global and socialsurrounding. This is one of the signs that, the law is preview tochange. Traditionally, the law was vital for establishing anorganized society. Currently, most of the laws used by differentcountries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia,China, and France derive their principles form ancient laws. Forexample, the adaptation of democracy as a political system getscredit from the existence of a parliamentary system during suchperiods. For example, ancient Greece pioneered the use of ademocratic system of governance, which relies on a parliamentarysystem of governance needed to serve as a check of the executive.Democracies are essential because such societies ensure that therights of citizens are protected. The legal system complements ademocratic arrangement because people can use leaders to emend thelaw after a series of debates (Roffer76).
However,it was not until the early 18thand 19thcentury that leaders established modern law to compliment thepolitical, economic, environmental, and social-cultural way of lifeof various countries. At this time, the study of philosophy waspredominant amongst different leaders and political aspirants. Assuch, modern societies incorporated concepts from influentialphilosophers such as Aristotle, Emanuel Kant, Socrates, Karl Max,Thomas Hobbes, and Albert Einstein into their law and legal system ofcountries across the globe. Hence, various philosophical viewsdetermine laws, which modern societies observe in present day (Downey76).
Itis difficult to analyze the law and legal system in general. This isbecause different communities have laws, which are specific to theirculture, religion, moral virtue, and traditions. In some cases, somecountries share same laws, while other countries adopt statutes andprovisions from countries which colonized them in the past. Forexample, Britain is on record for colonizing many countries such asIndia, the United States, and territories located in different partsof Africa. Hence, some of the laws in countries in Africa arereflective of British law and culture (Downey60).
Thelaw appeals to various aspects of society. However, one of thesignificant reasons for the law is to provide justice to everyone ina given community. The law cannot be effective without theestablishment of a proper legal system. As such, it is vital to havea comprehensive understanding of the meaning of a legal system, andits role in governing a state. A comparison between the UK andAmerican law highlights the history of the two countries. While theBritish law is rigid, American law is flexible. However, bothcountries often amend their laws to accommodate new ideas andconcepts, which enhance the justice system (Walston-Dunham87). Britain’s rich history highlights the way in which thecountries strategy of expansion to new territories gets credit forspreading their concept of law into new regions. As mentionedearlier, the countries colonization of new territories is the directimplication of the formation of the common wealth nations own(Walston-Dunham 112). Some countries colonized by Britain such as theUnited States do not belong to the common wealth. The United Statesgained its independence from the Britain in 1812, making the UnitedStates derive its own legal system with the help of the writing of anew constitution. However, countries such as India, Kenya, andJamaica have adopted a significant portion of British law because ofBritain’s role in their formation (Bulyginet al. 34).
Thelaw is very complex owing to the various changes that differentsovereign states established to accommodate new lifestyles. Forexample, in the last 15 years, most countries such as the Russia, theUnited States, the UK (United Kingdom), France, and Australia haveemended their laws to incorporate cyber crimes and crimes ofdiscrimination against groups such as gay, lesbian and transgendergroups. In addition, the law addresses issues related to mentaldisorder, which in the past did not get legal protection. This showsthe extensive development in the legal system, and the role of thelaw in upholding the dignity of different social groups in a givensetting (Bulyginet al. 34).
Legalsystems ensure that a society’s law is effective in differentsituations. For example, the legal system is established through thecreation of a group of networks, which enforce the law. The federalor state government is responsible in initiating systems, such as thepolice force, the judiciary, the incarceration system, andinstitutions that support the government in enforcing the law. Allthese functions work hand in hand to ensure that, criminals do notdisrupt the social, economic, environmental, and political growth ofa country. Each society requires lawyers, barristers, and counselorstrained in the law to represent members of a society. Lawyers play avital role in upholding the law because they use their knowledge ofthe law, and the legal system to place criminals in prison orinnocent people out of jail. All members of a society should have anunderstanding of the law because ignorance of the law is an offenseon its own (Walston-Dunham 112).
Thegovernment has branches of government such as the executive whichcomprises of the (office of the president), the judicial system, andthe legislature which comprises of the House of Representatives(Congress) and the Senate. Most countries have this arrangement,although, some countries have the same arrangement with a few changesto accommodate their countries approach. Therefore, the law is asystem of rules, which protects the rights of the society withoutcompromising individual rights of the community members (Mallesonand Moules 14).
Currently,most countries have developed their own identity and sovereignty.Hence, each country has the mandate to rewrite its own laws to suitthe changes experienced in society over the years. This is one of thereasons for the creation of laws and by laws, which address variousaspects of life, industries, and social issues. If anything, the factthat law is subject to the culture of a society is the reason why onecultures legal system may contradict that of another culture.
Bulygin,Eugenio, and Pulido C. Bernal. Essaysin Legal Philosophy.Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2015. Print.
Downey,Michael P. Introductionto Law Firm Practice.Chicago, Ill: Law Practice Management Section, American BarAssociation, 2010. Print.
Kenny,Anthony. Philosophyin the Modern World: A New History of Western Philosophy.Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2007. Print.
Malleson,Kate, and Moules Richard. TheLegal System.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
Roffer,Michael H. TheLaw Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250Milestones in the History of Law., 2015. Print.
Walston-Dunham,Beth. Introductionto Law.Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.