“the Law Is a Necessary Evil.” Discuss.

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Law is not something we ask for, but is simply something that has been thrust upon us at birth. It is a body of rules and regulations that govern the relationships among individuals as well as between the individual and their society. These rules establish rights, duties and privileges that are consistent with the values and beliefs of the society. Nevertheless, is law a “necessity,” is it an “evil” or is it merely a “necessary evil?”

Law is necessary in the society as a control mechanism. Since society has so many variables, what is one man’s right may be another man’s wrong. According to Prof. H. L. A. Hart, “Man needs to be regulated by laws as he does not live in isolation. Man lives in a community and must therefore be regulated.” If there was no system of law to have power over how people control their lives then there would not be a society to live in. People would be free to make decisions based solely on their principles, they would be free to steal, murder, damage, rape, trespass and terrorize what or whomever they wanted when it suited them, and nothing would be done about it. Hence it would be disastrous, if not impossible to base a society solely on such principles. The UK summer riots that took place in August 2011, give an unambiguous example of what happens when there is a collapse in law and order. This proves that for an ordered society to exist there must be some sort of legal system.

What makes Law evil? Most laws are made based on the moral values of society. If these values are harmful to the majority of society, then the laws generated based on these values will be equally harmful. Take into consideration the apartheid; it was a system of legal racial segregation and discrimination against blacks and other colored descendants that was physically enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 and 1994. This not only makes the law capricious but also oppressive. Many may argue that the law may not be evil but...
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