- When broadly considered, the law primarily serves four important functions. The law guarantees and protects rights and liberties of the individuals which it governs. This ensures that these liberties and rights are not violated and unlawfully intruded or suspended by individuals or organizations including the government. Additionally, the law provides a commonly accepted formal platform for dispute resolution. This is also connected to the function of maintaining within a society through establishment of standards for measuring right or wrong (Brickley and Gottesman n.pag.).
The law is usually consistent but can be adjusted depending on various factors including culture and special interest groups. It does this through creating of special statues that factor special needs of a particular group.
- The United States Constitution is both natural law and positive law. The foundation of the constitution is hinged on natural law which campions for universality of human nature. Therefore, the constitution is interpreted using reason. Additionally, sections of the constitution have over the years been amended by the Congress, which is usually a product of subjective thinking.
Natural law has played a key role in the interpretation of the U.S constitution and consequently amendments, which have seen special provisions for various rights to be protected. Special interest groups have had their rights recognized and included as part of the universal human rights due to natural law interpretation of the Constitution especially by the Supreme Court during landmark cases.
- Night-watchman states are built on the ideology of less control especially through laws to allow for a laissez-faire lifestyle: politically and economically. Therefore, the law works on the bare minimum: maintaining of order only. On the other hand, a welfare state requires law for numerous purposes beyond maintaining law and order: protection of liberties, setting of standard of conduct and settling of disputes among others (Gregory n.pag).
A night-watchman state would have property and copyright laws. These types of laws would promote capitalism common in such a state. On the other hand, welfare state would have laws such as universal human rights and human suffrage laws.
- Social contract theory as idealized by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke provides basics parameters which can use to relate with others in the society. It highlights individual obligations towards the larger society in which they live in (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy n.pag. Therefore, these obligations define the moral standards within the society are used as pillars for judging what is wrong or right and resolving disputes.
The government is part of the society in which we live in, based on the social contract theory. Therefore, it has obligations towards the society which is comprised on residents and citizens. Therefore, social contract theory provides us with the basic standards for evaluating how the government meets these obligations.
Brickley, Samuel D. and Gottesman, Brian M. “Chapter 3: Purposes and Functions of Law.” In Business Law Basics. AreteSoft, LLC, 2017. Available at: http://www.businesslawbasics.com/chapter-3-purposes-and-functions-law-1
Gregory, Anthory. “The Minarchist’s Dilemma.” Strike The Root, 10 May 2004. Available at: http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/gregory/gregory6.html
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “Social Contract Theory.” Available at: http://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/