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Role and Function of Law

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Role and Function of Law

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  • July 2008
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Roles and Functions of Law
According to Merriam Webster law is “a binding custom or practice of a community: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority” (Merriam). Law has many roles and functions within business and society. Some of the roles of laws set rules of conduct and ethical standards for business and society. Laws also provide a means to settle disputes. The law plays many functions such as “peacekeeping; checking government power and promoting personal freedom; facilitating planning and the realization of reasonable expectations; promoting economic growth through free competition; promoting social justice; and protecting the environment” (Mallor 2007). There are several different types of law to consider. There are also classifications of law.

Constitutions are one type of law. Constitutions exist at both the state and federal level. Constitutions create different branches of the government and determine what powers are given to each branch. Constituions serve a second purpose they prevent other units of government from passing laws that would limit certain individual rights. In short constitutions make sure there is a separation of powers within the government branches.

Another type of law is statutes. “Statutes are laws created by elected representatives in Congress or a state legislature” ( Mallor 2007). Statutes are not considered a law until they are enacted by a legislature. Before a statute is considered a law it is called a uniform act.

Common law, also known as judge-made or case law, is another type of law. These laws are at the state level. Common law is made and apllied by judges . This type of law is applied when there is no other statute or legal rule that can be applied. Common law is based on prior court decisions called precedents. Precedents are prior decisions made by the courts. These laws are flexible and allows common law to evolve to meet current...

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