May 6, 2013
Roles and Functions of Law in Business and Society
Law is a necessity in business and society. Law has been defined as “A body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by a controlling authority and having legal binding force” (Melvin, p. 4, 2011). Laws are essentially common sense or ethical standards that are enforced. Without laws, society would depend on all to be ethically and morally sound, but even then, there would still need to be laws to protect those that need to be protected. What is good for a company may still infringe on an individual, a group, and/or environmental rights. The law is vast, so if one were to break it down into three classifications, there would be; Criminal and Civil, Substantive and Procedural, and Public and Private. These are defined as: 1. Criminal and Civil Law – Criminal Law is for the protection of society. Any act committed by someone that puts their society in harm’s way is committing a criminal act and is punishable under Criminal Law with possible fines and imprisonment. Civil Law is the protection of private parties (including businesses) where a lawsuit can be brought towards another private party for proposed wrong doings. The goal for a civil suit is to either stop someone from doing something or to get them to do something and can sometimes include monetary consequences (Schneider, 2013). 2. Substantive and Procedural Law – Substantive Law is a statutory law that provides rights between individuals or an individual and the state; the rights and duties of people. Procedural Law is the set of rules set forth for substantive rights. This tells the courts how to try and sentence each case, to ensure fair practice and consistency is maintained (Mabelle, n.d.). 3. Public and Private Law – Public Law is the relationship between individuals and the state; constitutional, administrative, and criminal....