It is easy to understand how important laws are if you imagine a society trying to function without them. There is no way for one legal system to cover every situation because individuals and circumstances are unique.
In the U.S., there are a wide variety of laws, including laws created by legislatures, those created by administrative agencies, and laws created from tradition, or common law. Then there is a court system to help decide which laws apply in each situation and how the laws should be interpreted. It seems like a lot of rules, but all of them are important to help protect us in our day-to-day lives.
Functions of Law
Law fulfills several important functions, but these four are the most important:
- Laws protect individual rights and liberties. The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution to guarantee several important protections. The laws protect individuals from other individuals, from organizations, and even from the government. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights prohibits the government from making any law that would interfere with an individual’s right to free speech. There are some exceptions based on what is considered free speech.
- Laws provide a framework and rules to help resolve disputes between individuals. Laws create a system where individuals can bring their disputes before an impartial fact-finder, such as a judge or jury. There are also legal alternatives where individuals work together to find a solution, such as by using alternative dispute resolution (ADR). There are courts at every level, from local to federal, to decide who should win in a dispute.
- Without laws, there would be no way to set standards. It is easy enough to see why murder and theft are crimes, but laws also provide a framework for setting many other kinds of standards. Without the Federal Code of Regulations, it would be difficult for individuals or businesses to transact businesses using banks. Federal regulations provide enforceable rules and protections regarding taxes, commercial transactions, employment laws, insurance, and other important areas.
- Laws help societies to maintain order. What would society be like without the rule of law? You might need to provide your own protection because there would be no police force or army. Without federal banking protections, you might need to find other ways to get what you couldn’t provide for yourself. With the structure and organization of laws come order and predictability. Individuals can feel safe, leading to wider social structures and greater productivity.
Purpose of Business Law
Business law is unique because it has so many aspects of other areas of law. In order to understand such a complex subject, attorneys must understand diverse areas like commercial transactions, employment law, business formation and dissolution, and insurance law. Business law helps to protect not just the businesses but the owners, employees, and customers of the businesses.