The Four Principles of Law

The law is the set of rules enforceable by social or governmental institutions that regulate behavior. It is a fundamental part of a society and has many aspects. It serves a variety of purposes but four principal ones are establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights.

There are several theories about the origin of law. One, natural law, focuses on a moral understanding of right and wrong. This theory is in contrast to the more common societal view of law, which focuses on human cultures and traditions.

Another theory looks at law from an empirical perspective. It examines the laws of nature, logic and religion for the basis of law. It argues that the laws of nature, when interpreted properly by humans, result in the law as it exists today.

A third view of law is based on the idea that the law is a system of commands issued by a superior and obeyed by those subordinate. This view explains why laws are not always wise or fair but, in the long run, they work better than individual judgments.

The fourth and most important view of the law focuses on the concept of the rule of law. This refers to a government’s willingness and ability to enforce its laws consistently and fairly. It is a fundamental principle of democracy and the foundation for all other principles that support it. The rule of law can deteriorate when there is a lack of proper checks and balances in the system or when the government fails to meet its obligations.

When a society is governed by the rule of law, there is a sense of stability and security for all citizens. There are clear rules for acquiring property and engaging in commerce; procedures for dispute resolution; and effective enforcement of the laws. In a society governed by the rule of law, everyone is subject to the law and no one is above it. This is in contrast to an autocracy, dictatorship or oligarchy where the rulers are above the law and can act without restraint.

In a society governed by the rule or law, people are free to pursue happiness, live peaceably with their neighbors and achieve their potential. The rule of law requires that the law is accessible and equitable, publicized and stable, and administered by representatives and neutrals who are accountable and reflect the makeup of society. It also requires a system of corrective measures to address problems when they occur. If the rule of law is not maintained, it can lead to chaos and destruction. A strong rule of law engenders respect for the individual, promotes freedom and prosperity, and encourages innovation and growth. It also protects the environment and sustains life. A career in Law offers an exciting and challenging opportunity to learn and work with other bright, dedicated and passionate individuals. There are numerous Law student organizations that provide a great supplement to classroom learning and provide students with the chance to meet influential leaders in their chosen field.