Sunday, December 23, 2012


If you ask a group of randomly selected individuals “What is Law?” each one will come up with a different answer. But most people will agree that law is, at the basic level, a set of rules which a community is governed by.
Law is different from other types of rules which govern certain types of behaviour. For instance game have rules. As a nation of cricket lovers we know that cricket is governed by a complex set of rules as to how a batsman gets out, how many balls a bowler may bowl in an over and so on. But cricket rules are obviously different from legal rules. This is principally because not everyone is governed by the rules of cricket. It is only if you choose to play the game that you are controlled by its rules. Similarly even if you play cricket you are at liberty to change the rules to suit your manner of playing.
Here we come to a distinguishing feature of law, in that all in a community are bound by law and no one can “opt out” of it. Anyone who steals commits an offence under the law and can be dealt with in terms of the law. In other words there is a law against theft and that law is enforceable against anyone breaks it.
Why does law have this special place in human society? Why does it affect everyone uniformly, whether they wish to be under the law or not? These questions can be answered in many different ways and at many different levels. At the very practical level however law has these special or “legal “consequences because it comes into being in a special way. Most importantly it is passed by parliament. Parliament is the representation of the people, consisting of those who have been elected by the majority of the people to represent them in government. What parliament does is therefore seen to be the will of the people, and what is passed by it governs the people. Thus even if an individual does not wish to be ruled by a certain law as he or she had a say in the election of the lawmakers, he or she is bound by what they pass as law.
The existence of law in a society means that the people in that society will be governed by the law and not by the whims and fancies of the rulers. This is an important aspect of law, showing how crucial it is in protecting the rights and freedoms of ordinary individuals. The rule of law can be contrasted with the rule of human beings, who may from time to time decree different and contrary things, treating one person in a certain way and another equally placed person  in a different way. Of course law is made by human beings, but once it is made it takes on a life of its own. A law, if well made, will be the result of many discussions and inputs from diverse angles, attempting to arrive at a just end-product.
Coming Soon………………………………….