What is a law? A law is a rule of conduct, established by government, for society to follow and obey. Laws have been around in civilizations for many, many years. The first know set of laws was written by King Hammurabi. Hammurabi ruled in Babylon, from 1792- 1750 B.C.E. The Code of Hammurabi which is the first written set of laws known to mankind, set the stage for all laws written, even today. You may ask why do we need laws in our society? The meaning, and function of laws in a democratic society is to establish rule of conduct, protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, and to provide protection for society.
In society we live with, and interact with others, and we need laws to stop, and to control unavoidable conflicts and problems that occur every day. That is why we need to establish rules of conduct. The Highway Traffic Acts make a minimum driving age, speed limit, mandatory seat belts, these laws control problems because they make the roads safer for all of us and therefore many lives are saved. The Copyright Act also prevents conflicts and problems because it prevents other people from ‘copying’ other peoples or groups work. Therefore there are many less cases that go to court because of the Copyright Act, and that prevents problems.
We need laws to protect our rights and freedoms. Laws are needed to protect our most cherished thing, and that is our rights, and our freedom. We need to have our rights and freedom protected by others, because we cannot do it ourselves, that is why we have the RCMP, and the provincial police to protect us. The police guarantee public safety and protection of life. Criminal law also protects our rights and freedoms because they make it illegal for others to do things like assault and harass us. The criminal code protects us the best of all because others know what is wrong, and if they disobey the criminal code, then they will be punished for it.
Lastly we need laws to provide protection in society. This means that we need laws to protect ourselves from others who try to take advantage of us. For example there are contract laws, they protect us form storeowners and managers who might try to take advantage of young people, and make them work with no brakes. There are also labor laws, they assure us that we will work in safe and clean working conditions, and that we make a minimum wage. There are also laws that protect handicap people, and assure them the necessities of life.
The meaning and function of law in society is to establish rules if conduct, protect rights and freedoms, and to provide safety for society. The charter of rights and freedoms says, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” What this means is that everyone is free, has rights, and cannot be deprived of that by anyone. The laws are made to protect us, and our rights. Laws are necessary in society so that we can live our lives in peace and happiness.