Roles and Functions of Law in Business and Society
William O. Douglas said, "Common sense often makes good law." Well that is what laws essentially are, rules and regulations that make sure common sense is followed. One could even say that laws are enforced ethics. Laws serve several roles and functions in business and society, and this paper will discuss those roles and functions.
What is law?
According to Reference.com (2007), law is defined as: "rules of conduct of any organized society, however simple or small, that are enforced by threat of punishment if they are violated. Modern law has a wide sweep and regulates many branches of conduct." Essentially law is the ...view middle of the document...
E.g. public law has subdivisions that include constitutional, administrative, and criminal law, whereas private law would cover such areas as contracts and properties.
These three classifications of law affect both business and society, through not only the guidelines defining what is and is not a crime, but also through protection for both. The examples above talked about a car hitting an individual. If it were taken one step further and the car belonged to a business, there are laws in place safeguarding the culpability of the business from the incident since though it is a company car, the company itself was not driving it. Instead the driver and only the driver would be the one at fault, and the victim would have only the driver to seek compensation or prosecution against.
Functions of Law
Whether it is corporate, personal, or societal, laws are created to protect the interests of the masses. According to the textbook, Business Law: The Ethical, Global, and E-commerce Environment, 13th Edition (Mallor, et al, 2007, p. 11), the most important functions of law include the following:
2. Checking government power and promoting personal freedom.
3. Facilitating planning and the realization of reasonable expectations.
4. Promoting economic growth through free competition.
5. Promoting social justice.
6. Protecting the environment.
These functions of law protect the interests of individuals and businesses through a system of rules, enforced by governing bodies. These systems of rules, as listed by Reference.com (2007), include the following areas of law:
Constitutional – provides a framework for creating laws, protecting human rights, and electing political representatives.
Administrative – provides the means by which citizens can challenge government powers.
International – regulates the way in which nations deal with one another,...