Laws, Social Change and Socio-Legal Research in India

Topics: Law, Sociology, Political philosophy Pages: 6 (1860 words) Published: August 25, 2013
Law is the expression of the will of the society. Its virtue or vice depends on the social conscience at a given time. A bad law is a manifestation of an aberration in a body politic of the conscience of the society.

In every political society it is the law which contributes to its civilized character, but law is the handmaid of social justice, rendering in the interest of society that which is according to law and to which a person or persons are entitled.

Law is the very foundation of society and the true function of justice is to keep the scales even between man and man to adjudicate the merits of the problem brought before the courts in the true light.

According to Salmond ‘Law, as the body of principle recognized and applied by the state for the administration of justice, “and the object of law is to achieve justice.” From the above definition it is clear that law is important to achieve justice, social, economical and political and it is said that the measures of success of a democracy is the maximum realization of the aspirations, ambitions and ideals of the largest number of citizens.

The function of law is not only restricted to adjudication or punishment. Its aim is to achieve real equality which is social and economic and hence, in true sense, law is means to secure justice, Legal, social and it is also true that law is an instrument of serving the need of human society.

Law, whether codified or uncodified is a dynamic process. Law cannot stand still, it must change with the changing social concept and values, it should grow with changing needs of society.

As society is a changing phenomenon and with the change its need has also changed, there occurs gradual or suitable changes in society, and there is a good variety of interactions between social evolution and legal change and with changing social scenario, it is necessary that where the existing law is unable to move with changes taking place in our society, to reform it or where there exists no law, it all then make a law to regulate the changes that are taking place in the society.

If the law fails to be progressive, it is bound to be disregarded and thus to decay and die because law is meant for society. So it is true that law is a dynamic process. It is a flow, constantly changing and continually expanding. It consists of rules and has a pattern, but the rules and pattern change as they are used over a period of time.

Law is best understood by viewing the legal system as a process, a means of pulling together society’s need and goals and translating them into guides for fairness and reasonableness in conduct and so law must keep pace with a progressive, modern society, for the development and progress of any society.

It is necessary that it should be an ordered society. If there is chaos and confusion, no progress is possible. Control over it is essential. In order to control the society it is necessary that through knowledge of it must be acquired, e.g., in order to remove caste barriers or in order to remove untouchability the causes for their emergence and continuance must be studied and measures for their eradication must be suggested.

If we wish to reduce crime or make society free from crime and criminals, the causes of crime and the attitude of people involved in it should be studied, e.g., sex, age, group, class of society, etc. and also similar steps should be necessary to remove offences from society.

The problems of today cannot be solved by the old legislations and methods and so they will have to be altered from time to time to suit the changing social circumstances.

Courts through their judicial decisions reflect important, social, economic and political goals and need of the society in which they function. Rule of law reflects the society and time in which they operate.

A great deal of changes in our laws were made or are being made on the basis of suggestions given by the law commission of...
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